Bauer to launch Magic at the Musicals on DAB+

Bauer is launching another new radio station from Golden Square, this time playing music from musicals.

Magic at the Musicals will be available on DAB+ in and around London from Thursday 21st November with presenters including Ruthie Henshall (Chicago, Cats) and Jonathan Bailey (Broadchurch, Doctor Who, W1A, Company)

The schedule will also include Louise Dearman (Wicked) John Owen-Jones (The Phantom of the Opera), alongside Julian Bird (CEO of SOLT and UK Theatre) and special shows from Luke Evans (film: Beauty and the Beast, Clash of the Titans; Stage: Rent, Miss Saigon), Alfie Boe (Les Miserables) and others.

The playlist will feature songs like And I Am Telling You from Dreamgirls and Defying Gravity from Wicked alongside classics such as Cats’ Memory and Les Misérables’ Bring Him Home. Plus musicals from Mamma Mia! to The Greatest Showman and the vintage Singin’ in the Rain.

Bauer already technically owns a musicals radio station with its recent purchase of UKRD. Encore Radio, which launched in October 2016, is still on Surrey DAB and streaming online after originally being available on DAB in Herts, Beds & Bucks, Essex and Kent. Another online station, Matinee Radio, has been available for the last four years targetting a UK audience.

Steve Parkinson, Group Managing Director for National Radio, Bauer Media said: “Magic at the Musicals will celebrate the dynamic world of musical theatre – from the favourite classics to the latest West End and Broadway hits – and we’ll reflect the growing number of new and re-imagined musicals on the silver screen.

This latest addition from the Magic stable will offer targeted access to a premium and distinctive audience of musical loving fans of all ages. It will of course build on our close association with the Society of London Theatre and many of the productions in London and around the country.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 04: Trevor Dion Nicholas performs an excerpt from Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ on stage during ‘Magic at the Musicals’ at The Royal Albert Hall on May 4, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by John Phillips/John Phillips/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Trevor Dion Nicholas

Commenting on the launch, presenter Ruthie Henshall said, “The station’s name is derived from our hugely successful Magic at the Musicals show which is in its 5th year at the Royal Albert Hall. From a vibrant theatre and cinema scene there’s never been a better time to bring this much-loved genre to the masses. We’ll be proudly broadcasting songs from the shows directly into households across the country. Singing out loud optional!”

Julian Bird, Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre says “This is a fantastic boost for the industry at a time when theatregoing is at an all-time high. Magic is already our partner on the Olivier Awards, West End Live and other theatre and production projects, so this feels like a perfect platform to promote theatre, and musicals in particular.”

Magic at the Musicals will broadcast The Olivier Awards live in full, cover West End Live – produced by Westminster City Council and Official London Theatre – in Trafalgar Square and broadcast its own event, Magic at the Musicals Live from the Royal Albert Hall in May 2020.

Schedule Highlights

Backstage: Weekdays at 11am introduced by Alice Arnold hearing from a star of the stage.

Matinee: Weekday ‘Matinee’ performance starts at 2pm. Two song from one of the ‘Golden Oldie’ Musicals introduced by Tom Chambers.

Curtain Up: Weekday at 7pm – a daily hour special brought to you by various West End performers choosing their favourite songs from the Musicals.

Curtain Call: Weekdays at 10.30pm, when each night the station will play the finale number from a show.

Stage Door: Saturdays at 2pm the station goes behind the Stage Door with Ruthie Henshall as she lets us into the world of theatre behind the scenes.

Limelight: Saturdays at 6pm with hour specials, starting with Luke Evans, Ball and Boe and Patricia Kelly (wife of Gene).

Green Room: Sundays @ 3pm – the ‘Green Room’ with Julian Bird the Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre, with news from the world of theatre.

Take Your Seats Please! Sunday nights at 6pm, ‘take your seats please’ for more great names from the world of theatre talking us through the Soundtrack to one of their favourite musicals. The first shows will be from Theatre legends John Owen Jones and Louise Dearman.

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  1. DAVID BAKER says

    Well done Bauer, great this idea

    1. mb23 says

      It’s a great idea and something genuinely different, but why only London? If they switch one of their existing national stations to DAB+ they could fit this in on Digital 1.

      1. Radio Geordie says

        I’m pretty sure that there’s currently a percentage limit on how many services are allowed to broadcast in the newer format – the small-scale platforms are the exception.

        You’re right in that they could launch it on other platforms, especially on their own platforms in the North of England & Scotland by switching another service to DAB+. They could even launch on many of the Now Digital platforms as many of their multiplexes are only about half full.

        1. mb23 says

          Ofcom scrapped the percentage limit for DAB+ earlier this year when they updated their technical code (it was 30% of a multiplex).

          The whole of D1 could be DAB+ under the new rules. Bauer own Magic, Absolute, Kiss & Kisstory on D1. If they switched any of these to 40k DAB+ it would create room for this new station.

          1. Radio Geordie says

            Are you sure that applies to all of the DAB platforms or only those that serve a small population – like the Channel Islands?

            The soon to be awarded Cumbria/Morecambe Bay platform applications stated that most of their services would be in the ‘original flavour’ DAB rather than the newer DAB+, and I’m sure that’s because of the size of the population served – around 500,000 compared to around 100,000 in the Channel Islands, which was why all 3 applications for that area had so many services with all but 2 in DAB+.

            If it does apply to all platforms regardless of population size, then the question has to be why haven’t they already switched to DAB+?

            Mind you, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised that Ofcom have quietly dropped the rule as it’s not the first time they’ve done that, especially if Global & Bauer want it.

  2. Joe Smith says

    Not that different Encore have been doing it for some time.

  3. Lee says

    Good call. Why only London?

  4. Colin Harris says

    At least its not just a copycat station from Global. Love musicals but not sure personally i would enjoy a whole radio station devoted to them. Shame its only London though.

  5. Phil says

    Will this be available online?

  6. Charles Bonella says

    yes, why only London? What about Scotland? There’s a lot of people here who love the theater. Ever heard of the Edinburgh festival?!

  7. Josie says

    Sounds fab . What about the Rest of the country? Here in Manchester would be great

  8. Barry says

    and in Norfolk as well.we have got space for it .Barry.

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