Former BBC presenter Chris Donald is joining community station Nova Radio North East.
Chris will host the same time slot as he did on BBC Newcastle and BBC Tees on Nova, every Friday night, with his Imaginary Soul Club show.
His weekly programme is just one of the dozens of shows being dropped by BBC local radio stations all over the country, as the network sticks to a more standardised schedule following the lockdown restrictions.
“Initially I was told it was temporary, due to COVID-19,” says Chris. “But it has since become permanent, due to budget restrictions. I gather cuts are being made across all of BBC local radio and I know a lot of presenters are worried about their futures.”
Chris was approached by Neil Kipling, manager of Community Radio Station Nova Radio 102.5fm, who offered Chris the opportunity to ‘reopen the doors’.
He continued: “The studio is yards from the Bigg Market, so there’ll be more of a party atmosphere than there was at the BBC. The only person I spoke to regularly at the BBC was the night security guard.
“The face of BBC local radio seems to be changing, with less locally produced shows, and less local input. I’m looking forward to working with Nova Radio North East, who have an enthusiastic, dedicated team who are all in it for the same reason. They believe in local radio.”
For anyone wondering when Chris Donald's Soul Club will be returning to BBC Newcastle & BBC Tees on Friday nights, I'm afraid it won't. They told me it was being closed temporarily due to Covid-19, but they now tell me they have no plans to re-open it.
— Chris Donald (@carhornashtray) June 24, 2020
Neil added: “Chris joining Nova is really exciting for me. It’s a major milestone in our growth and development as a local station. There are more surprises on the way over the coming months from Nova but wow what a way to start.”
Programmer of Nova Radio North East Dean Wears said: “The way things are going community radio stations such as Nova Radio North East are very much the future of local radio, and we look forward to welcoming Chris and the real listeners of his Imaginary Soul Club to Nova Radio North East 102.5fm.”
Nova Radio North East is the new name for NE1fm which launched in 2007.