Presenters David Hamilton and Graham Dene are at the centre of a new radio station aimed at “grown ups” and operated by charity Age UK.
The Wireless is a service for the over 50s and has been online since May, but will join a couple of DAB multiplexes providing “a mix of music, entertainment and information to improve later life in the UK”.
It will fill a space left by the likes of SAGA Radio, and before that Melody Radio. Other than BBC local radio – featuring Sony award-winning Beryl and Betty – few stations now target this market, with an honourable mention to the community station Angel Radio in Havant, which also broadcasts on DAB across South Hampshire, and plays predominantly music recorded before 1960.
Ofcom licensing documents now show that the regulator has agreed to vary licences to allow the Greater London III and Yorkshire DAB digital radio multiplexes to carry the station, which is expected to launch on DAB in the next few weeks. The two new DAB services will together cover around 12 million people.
The station, which is produced for Age UK by USP Content, already features specialist music programmes, including Jazz with David Freeman, Rock with Simon Crosse, and a weekly Classic Countdown from Daryl Denham. David Hamilton presents a daily morning show while Graham Dene presents each afternoon. Graham has most recently been heard covering bank holiday programmes on BBC Surrey and Sussex.
At the station’s online launch, Tom Wright CBE, Group Chief Executive of Age UK, said: “Research shows that people over 55 years of age listen to radio more than any other age group, so we wanted to create a platform that caters for this audience. We are thrilled to launch an entertaining and informative new radio station that provides the UK’s older demographic with more choice about what they want to listen to.
The Wireless will provide an entertaining outlet that helps us to share some of our extensive information and advice on improving later life, as well as encouraging our supporters to get involved in our campaigning and fundraising. We also want to hand the microphone over to people in later life, providing a platform for listeners to express their own views and help shape what content we produce and air so it’s as much their station as the charity’s.”
Radio Today is following the story, and will have more on “The Wireless” closer to the DAB launch.