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Phoenix celebrates 12 months

Brentwood and Billericay community station Phoenix FM is celebrating one year of broadcasting by inviting local council leaders to host programmes.

Councillors and brewers are some of the civic stalwarts swapping their usual roles for radio headphones and microphones. Phoenix FM has offered them a popular Monday evening two-hour show to entertain listeners.

Steve Mead, Phoenix FM station manager, said: "Over the past year Phoenix FM has welcomed hundreds of community leaders on air as guests. This has developed into civic VIPs hosting shows of their own, which we're delighted about."

Husband and wife team Mike Le Surf and Julie Morrissey are both part of the Brentwood and Ongar Labour Party and work with disabled adults. Mike has campaigned for better services for the disabled for almost 20 years. Julie said: "It's our first show on Phoenix and we're really looking forward to it. We've lined up some great guests who are coming in from the world of local sports, dance and politics."

Beer lovers Dave Holmes and Roland Kannor hit upon starting up Brentwood Brewing Company while propping up a bar and enjoying a pint. That was in 2006 and two years later their South Weald operation produces 9,000 pints of ale a week. This year the business partners propped up a bar dreaming of their own radio show featuring their choice of music to drink beer to. The result will be broadcast on Monday, March 31st from 8pm.

"We'll be talking about the brewing process and beer in general with our assistant brewer Sophie de Ronde and CAMRA. Pubs can get in touch to publicise their quiz nights, live bands and beer festivals," said Dave.

Phoenix FM won its full-time licence to broadcast on 98FM from March 2007 after a ten-year campaign for Brentwood and Billericay's own radio station. A team of 25 presenters produce a varied mix of daytime, specialist and general music shows – broadcast 24 hours a day from Phoenix FM's Baytree Centre studios in Brentwood.

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