The world's smallest radio station has launched in Scilly, from studios opposite Porthmellon Beach on St Mary's. Radio Scilly went live at 2pm during a ceremony attended by around 100 invited guests. 67 islanders have signed up as presenters, serving a maximum audience of 2100 people on the five islands, 28 miles off Lands End.
An evening event featuring the islands' bands The Steam Band and Touching Cloth will be held at the Scillonian Club tonight and will see the launch of a commemorative beer brewed by the Ales Of Scilly Brewery, Megahertz.
Keri Jones ran the first trial broadcast in 1999 before launching Radio Pembrokeshire in 2001 and, due to Ofcom rules, had to sell his Radio Pembrokeshire Group shareholding before staring Radio Scilly. It was his longtime goal to live and work on Scilly throughout his Radio Pembrokeshire days and his contract allowed him time off to carry out the RSL's as a "busman's holiday". He now lives on the islands and will host the 0700-1200 show Monday to Saturday as well as undertaking Managing Director duties. The station's other permanent staff are former Radio Pembrokeshire Content Manager, Zoe Parry and Radio Scilly trial regular and James Watt, who is from St Mary's.
The station will follow a mainstream local radio format with a high degree of speech between 0700 and 1200, islanders will host music and chat shows from midday and the evening slots between 1800 and 2200 will feature an eclectic mix of specialist programming. Radio Scilly will also air a soap opera, The Islanders, written by local accomplished playwright Maggie Perkovic and performed by St Mary's Theatre Club. Radio Scilly will also have its own staff weatherman, St Mary's based meteorologist Steve Douglas who will provide hourly updates and "weather -on-the-tens" on breakfast-essential in a sea faring community. Although the Ofcom commitment is for just two hours of live programming a day, Radio Scilly intends becoming the role model for small community radio stations and will be live from 0700-2200 and will air local news bulletins 6 times a day.
The station has attracted signifciant media attention with a BBC2 TV crew following the station's set-up for a fly-on-the-wall documentary. The launch has also been covered by the Guardian Newspaper today and ABC Radio in Australia!
Keri told RadioToday.co.uk: "We intend to become to role model for small community radio stations. We want to sound just as polished and professional as mainland stations because we want our volunteers to feel proud of their involvement.This is an amazing community with a huge amount of talent. We'll be showcasing that every day on our FM and online audio and video broadcasts on www.radioscilly.com"
Audio from the launch will appear here soon.
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