GMG Radio's digital-only station Real Radio has become the first national radio station the UK to flip to an all Christmas format. Non-Stop festive tunes will play 24 hours a day till boxing day, in a bid to attract a new retail audience.
John Simons, group programme director for GMG Radio, said: "This is a landmark move for Real Radio Digital as we break the mould by being the first ever UK radio station to set programming to 100% Christmas music. This is an innovation which will, in time, see our competitors follow where Real Radio Digital leads."
Christmas format flips are common in the USA, with at least one station in each major market, but has never been done before in the UK because of tight Formats imposed by regulators. And although it has taken over 10 years to take advantage of a less-regulated digital platform, the idea could trigger other seasonal changes.