It’s a case of going back to its roots as BBC GMR reverts back to the original name of BBC Radio Manchester from April 3rd.
A new jingle package and a new breakfast show with Terry Christian are part of the new station sound, which will also start at 6am on the same date. The new Managing Editor John Ryan comments: “BBC Radio Manchester went on air in 1970 and only became BBC GMR in 1988. Since then, ‘Manchester’ as a name has come to represent the whole city region and has largely usurped the phrase ‘Greater Manchester’, which was never a term that people easily related to.
This change back to our heritage name, which is in keeping with most other BBC local radio stations, does not alter our service intention. The target service area, editorial direction and older target audience remain the same. We simply want to serve the whole of the Manchester area better,”
Local broadcaster and Xfm presenter Anthony H Wilson fronts a Friday night sports discussion show and a new Saturday lunchtime show. And in June, Shobna Gulati, former Coronation Street and Dinnerladies star, arrives to front a new weekend series.
They join existing GMR stars Heather Stott, Allan Beswick, Phil Wood, Becky Want, Eamonn O’Neal, Dianne Oxberry and Mike Shaft.
“Manchester is the original modern city, and we’re delivering an original modern radio station. We want to capture Manchester’s unique tone of voice and report all of Manchester’s communities – delivering BBC Local Radio values in a contemporary and engaging way for this amazing place,” added Ryan.
The new jingles were recorded recently at IQ Beats in Seattle, working with the Manchester based BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. The themes are all influenced by prominent Manchester artists of the last forty years – and continue to feature the BBC voices which BBC local stations, including GMR, currently use.