Radio stations reflected on David Bowie’s death announcement this morning by bringing out his back catalogue.
A number of local stations instantly flipped to non-stop Bowie songs, whilst national brands reflected the news with additional songs instead of the usual one or two more popular hits.
Stations which don’t include David Bowie in their music format, stepped away from the normal playlist to air his songs. Even 5 live – which doesn’t play any music – stopped the chat to include some of his biggest hits in breakfast.
BBC Radio 1 communicated the information to an audience unlikely to be affected by news of his death, with presenter Nick Grimshaw playing his songs and encouraging listeners to search for Bowie’s music. BBC Radio 2 broadcast listener reaction whilst continuing with some of the usual features, and 6 Music is airing a Bowie special after lunch.
Absolute Radio had an hour special at 9am, Radio X was encouraging people to buy Bowie songs and even Classic FM got in on the act by playing David Bowie narrating Peter and the Wolf from 1978.
The announcement didn’t go quite as expected on Heart Scotland though – with newsreader Fiona Winchester announcing David Cameron had died before correcting herself to say David Bowie.
Gold played four songs per hour on breakfast with Tony Dibbin, and the station dedicated its Hall of Fame hour entirely to Bowies’ music. Gold is also doing another nonstop Bowie hour tonight from 11pm.
Jeremy Vine will be talking about why people feel grief on the death of famous people they don’t know and have never met, on his BBC Radio 2 show from 12pm. Radio 2 is also airing three hours of specials tonight from 7pm including a performance from Maida Vale introduced by Jonathan Ross, after Simon Mayo hosts a Bowie all-request half hour from 6.30 in drive.
New community radio station Dales Radio launched at 7am today – and the station instantly reacted to the news by playing Let’s Dance as their launch song.
The story photo (above) was taken in 1979 when David Bowie hosted a two hour radio show for the BBC.