My Radio Archive & Genius Musical Kids

(Cuddly) Capital Radio

95.8Mhz FM  & 539 Meters (later changed to 194) Medium


Capital just celebrated its 40th birthday yesterday (16th October 2013) I remember the first day back in 1973 when the station opened from its studios in Euston Tower.

In Tune With London

Scroll down the page for Nicky Horne, Tommy Vance, Roger Scott and Kenny Everatt
Click for:
Euston Tower, original home of Capital Radio
Below, the opening transmission by Sir Richard Attenborough.

Opening TX.mp3

Capital Jingles (below)

Roger Scott on Capital 

From Wikipedia

Capital London is a London-based radio station that launched on 16 October 1973 and is owned by Global Radio. On 3 January 2011 it formed part of the nine-station Capital radio network.

Following the 1964–68 offshore radio boom, the Conservative Party, under Edward Heath promised in its 1970 General Election Manifesto that should it win, it would introduce local commercial radio in addition to the commercial television that had started in 1955. This was a result of lobbying from pressure groups including the Local Radio Association, who felt that commercial radio should be introduced following the launch of ITV over a decade before. The Tories won and swiftly introduced the Sound Broadcasting Act 1972, which allowed for the introduction of Independent Local Radio and created the newly renamed Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) from the Independent Television Authority.

The Independent Broadcasting Authority advertised local radio licences in certain locations in the United Kingdom under the umbrella term of Independent Local Radio (ILR). London was due to receive two ILR licences: one for news and another for general entertainment. Radio Capital, later to become Capital Radio, was formed in early 1970 by David Maule-ffinch with the intent to apply for the general entertainment license. In late 1970, Maule-ffinch's future father-in-law, Barclay Barclay-White became involved. The Radio Capital team that was finally in place at the time of application to the IBA included Sir Richard Attenborough, Sir George Martin, Bryan Forbes, Sir Peter Saunders, David Maule-ffinch and Barclay Barclay-White. David Maule-Ffinch was a member of the board of Capital Radio and its largest stockholder until 1994, when he sold his controlling interest to Information et Publicite, a subsidiary of Havas, the French media conglomerate.

Another application came from a consortium headed by Opportunity Knocks television presenter Hughie Green, who had openly voiced the need for commercial broadcasting, having previously worked for Radio Luxembourg.

The IBA awarded Capital Radio the "London General Entertainment" service, while "London News" was awarded to the London Broadcasting Company, LBC.

IBA transmission tests commenced in January 1973 and Capital Radio went on air on 16 October 1973, eight days after LBC, using the following FM and AM frequencies: 95.8 MHz FM from the Croydon transmitter station and 557 kHz (539 m) MW from London Transport's Lots Road Power Station, Chelsea. The medium wave frequency and location were temporary sites as the then new high-powered medium wave station at Saffron Green, Barnet was incomplete.

Capital commenced regular transmissions with the British national anthem "God Save the Queen", then a message from director Richard Attenborough "...This, for the very first time, is Capital Radio" followed by the Capital Radio theme jingle, made by Blue Mink:
"Isn't it good to know,
Capital Radio
You can turn on your friends, you can turn on the show,
you can turn on the world with Capital Radio
Such a good way to make your day
Capital sounds go round and round,
Up and down London town
The brightest sound in London town
Capital Radio in tune with London (yeah)"...

Simon & Garfunkel's song, "Bridge over Troubled Water" followed the jingle. The first radio commercial came from Bird's Eye fish fingers, which incidentally was also the first ever legal radio commercial on LBC.
Capital's programming remit, as with all ILR stations at the time, was to appeal to the broadest range of people as possible, which included specialist music programmes, radio plays, classical music, community features and news documentaries. Capital's breakfast show was hosted by popular television entertainer Kenny Everett and disc jockey Dave Cash.

Immediately after going on air, Capital Radio suffered co-channel interference from Radio Veronica, a pirate radio station off the coast of the Netherlands. Veronica began broadcasting in the 1960s and it was suggested that the allocation of 539 metres to ILR may have been an attempt to block reception of overseas broadcasts — a battle which preceded the launch of BBC Radio 1. Capital finally moved into office blocks in Euston Tower in November 1973, just a few yards away from Thames Television headquarters. Euston Tower was, at the time, London's tallest office tower.

In 1975, the IBA finally opened the transmission facilities at Saffron Green which allowed both LBC and Capital Radio to move up the dial. Capital moved to 1548 kHz mediumwave (194 m) and LBC to 1152 kHz (261 m). Saffron Green needed to be highly configured as it was sharing the same frequency as other ILR stations and needed to prevent co-channel interference from new ILR stations in Birmingham and Manchester. Previously the Lots Road site gained Capital and LBC the semi-humorous nickname of "Radio Clothesline",[3] however both stations could be heard as far away as the Midlands. FM reception remained unaltered.

Capital in danger (1975–1980)
The commercial radio climate during this period was very tough. Recessions, the miners' dispute and high inflation brought on by the Three-Day Week meant that revenues at Capital Radio suffered. Throughout the 1970s Capital reduced its broadcasting hours and cut its staff, including many journalists – a move which angered the NUJ. Richard Attenborough intimated in the 1990s in a 'Capital Facts' sheet that the station almost contemplated closing down:
"Although one can say it now, one couldn't at the time, there were some weeks when the viability of the whole operation was in question and we might have had to close down. We almost didn't make ends meet."
Capital saw off the recession and continued broadcasting, eventually increasing its hours. The so-called 'needle-time' restrictions on playing music had been lifted, which meant it could play more music during the day as well as in the evenings where the eight hours were concentrated.

Charities and the Flying Eye
—Joe Strummer[4]
The mid-1970s saw Capital Radio expand with the launch of the Help a London Child charity, which aimed to raise money for London's poorest children. The charity appeal went on to become one of the longest-running in broadcasting and the most recognised in British radio. In 1976, the Capital Radio Helpline launched, in conjunction with Thames Television, London Weekend Television and British Telecom which helped listeners through matters ranging from how to cook a turkey at Christmas time, to suicide intervention. The station has also lent its support to London based orchestras, choral societies, the British Film Institute Children's Film Festival and many other ventures.
1976 saw the launch of the Flying Eye, a traffic spotting light aircraft, which could see traffic congestion below on the streets of Central London. LBC also had a similar service but was forced to suspend operations due to cost. Capital's aircraft was originally a Piper Seneca model, and, later, a twin-engined Grumman Cougar.

Music Power (1980s)
A new radio jingle package from Standard Sound heralded a new, refined sound for the station. Output was concentrated on its core playlist of contemporary chart music with the specialist music rescheduled to evenings. Jazz and soul programmes at the weekends, presented by Peter Young were well received by listeners. Charlie Gillett had his world music programme, The World Of Difference, on Sunday evenings. Several of Capital's early presenters had moved on, to be replaced by newer disc jockeys, some of which had experience presenting on Radio Luxembourg.

A brand new breakfast show started in 1987 and featured Chris Tarrant who arrived from popular television programme Tiswas. Chris initially arrived at Capital presenting the weekday lunchtime show before being promoted. Joined by the then unknown Kara Noble, the partnership proved very popular and the Breakfast Show eventually became one of the most listened to radio programmes on British radio. Many industry commentators consider the station's output in the 1980s represented Capital Radio at its broadcasting peak.

One becomes two- the frequency split (1989–1996)
As required by the 1990 Broadcasting Act the IBA and the Home Office in 1987, all ILR stations were to permanently split simulcasting output on both its FM and AM frequencies in order to create new local radio stations and improve choice. Capital responded by launching a golden oldies station, 1548 AM Capital Gold in 1 November 1988 on its AM frequency while Capital on FM became 95.8 Capital FM, a chart contemporary music station. Both stations received brand-new jingle packages from Californian jingle house Who Did That Music (later Groove Jingles) which went on to become well known and essential parts of its music programming.

The new home of Capital Radio along with LBC, Classic FM and the rest of Global Radio's stations.
1997 - 2010
From 1997, the studios of 95.8 Capital FM have been based in Leicester Square, which is also home to Capital's parent company, Global Radio. The studio complex is shared with many other stations, including XFM London, Classic FM, Heart London & LBC
The station launched its website in September 1996 resulting in high demand which led to it crashing within a few hours.

Beginning in late 2005, the station went through a number of changes. In December 2005, a new policy of two advertisements in each break to win favour with listeners, though there were more frequent breaks as a result. This policy was changed within a few months.

On 9 January 2006, the station was relaunched under its original name Capital Radio, with a modified line-up of presenters and a slightly tweaked music format. After this re-launch turned out not to have had the desired success, a new Programme Controller was appointed in September 2006. Scott Muller came from the Nova group in Australia, and the station saw another tweak in style.

The changes continued seeing Capital re-branded back to "London's Hit Music Station", a play on the station's earlier brand of "London's Number One Hit Music Station" with noticeable improvements – leading to a rise in audience figures at the end of 2006. The station also changed its on air name to 95.8 Capital Radio, incorporating the frequency of "95.8" back into the station since it was dropped at the January 2006 re-launch.

In March 2007, the station was then renamed Capital 95.8 and its slogan became "The Sound of London". The marketing campaign combined outdoor, cinema, and print adverts.

RAJAR figures for Q2 2007 showed Capital 95.8 slipping to fourth place in the London local radio market ratings, recording the lowest-ever share of the London audience and for the first time falling behind Emap-owned station Magic and Heart, now owned by Global Radio. Capital 95.8's audience share slipped from 4.6 to 4.1 per cent over the quarter.

The station then returned to the 'London's Hit Music Network' tagline on 10 December 2007, with ex-Absolute Radio presenter Greg Burns replacing Lucio on drivetime, and Lucio moving to the evening show. Lucio took over from Bam Bam (Peter Poulton) who left Capital in early December 2007. On 6 June 2008, Global Radio completed its £375 million takeover of Capital's parent company GCap Media.

Capital London formed part of the nine station Capital radio network on 3 January 2011 as part of a merger of the Global Radio owned Hit Music and Galaxy networks.[8] Weekday breakfast and drivetime plus weekend mornings are localised with other output networked from the 95.8 Capital studios in London.

Capital London localised presenters are responsible for playlisting music which is syndicated across the nine station Capital radio network, during Capital Breakfast, weekday drivetime and weekend mornings.
On 12 May 2011 it was announced 95.8 Capital remained the most listened to commercial radio station in London, on both share and reach, beating rival Magic 105.4. However, on 4 August 2011 it was announced rival Magic 105.4 had overtaken the position.

Your Mother Wouldn't Like it (known colloquially as 'Mummy') by Nicky Horne
It was the famous Emperor Rosko of Radio One fame that first spotted the potential in a young Nicky Horne. Rosko met Nicky whilst he was hanging around Radio One star-spotting. He took a liking to Nicky and two weeks later he became his personal assistant and joined him as a roadie for the famous 'Rosko Roadshow'. Instead of hanging around outside Radio One, Nicky was now starting to spend time inside and very quickly became the youngest presenter to broadcast on the network learning his craft from Rosko.

Nicky was a regular interviewer for the Radio 1 pop magazine show 'Scene and Heard' but supplemented his wages by joining a radio station in a biscuit factory! United Biscuits Network was a closed circuit radio station that covered all of the factories in their empire, and it was from here Nicky went to Capital Radio, soon to become the first music commercial station in the UK. Nicky was given the rock show 'Your Mother Wouldn't Like It' for 13 award winning years.

'Little Nicky Horne' as the late Kenny Everett dubbed him, is really part of radio folklore, having presented regular radio shows on Capital, Virgin, Jazz, Magic, TalkSport, and Classic FM. In fact, Nicky has the unique honour of being the only presenter to have had regular shows on every single national commercial station as well as BBC Radio 1 & 2.

Nicky's TV work is just as diverse and just as impressive. He was for four years the face of 'American Football' on Channel 4. In fact he is fondly remembered for introducing the sport to the UK as he anchored Britain’s first ever coverage of American Football, with his show regularly pulling in 4 millions viewers per episode. Nicky has also presented many other sports programmes, including 'ATP Tennis Worldwide' & 'NBA Live' on Sky Sports, and 'Indycar' on ITV.

Music has obviously also been a feature of his TV career. Highlights include 'Rock Steady' and 'EARSAY', which he devised and presented for Channel 4. Nicky also recently diversified into artist management and was for 18 "fascinating" months the manager of 70’s icon Mike Oldfield.

Over the years Nicky has earned a reputation as a bonafide legendary rock DJ, having met and interviewed just about everyone on the rock planet and being able to boast that he has spent a few hours aboard Led Zeppelin's private plane with the band. Other interview highlights include John Lennon, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Pete Townshend, Bruce Springsteen, Brian Wilson and Elton John to name just a few! It is fair to say Nicky has a few stories to tell!
It was Nicky Horne who first aroused my interest in Rock music back in the early days of Capital Radio (I don't like the modern translation - Capital FM). From this inspiration I discovered the following musical masterpiece composed by Jon Lord, the Hammond Organ player of Deep Purple.
Tommy Vance

Life and career
Below, a compilation of Tommy Vance's Capital broadcasts in the 1970s.

Tommy Vance2.mp3

Early life

Born as Richard Anthony Crispian Francis Prew Hope-Weston, Vance left home at 16 to join the Merchant Navy (discharged 1 October 1956), and began his radio career in the USA under the name 'Rick West'. He took the name 'Tommy Vance' at the radio station KOL in Seattle from a DJ who had failed to turn up after the station had heavily promoted and paid for expensive jingles which were already recorded.
While at KOL, Vance was recruited by the Top 40 programming consultant Bill Drake, to join his team of "Boss Jocks" at the emerging West Coast KHJ radio in Los Angeles (aka Boss Radio). Vance held the evening airshift at KHJ for several months in late 1965. During this period, it was alleged that Tommy decided to return abruptly to the UK, after running into an unresolvable problem with the U.S. immigration authorities, regarding being drafted for the Vietnam War.[citation needed]

Pirate radio

Upon his return to Great Britain, he joined Radio Caroline South (where he used Jack Costanzo's version of the "Naked City Theme" as his signature tune, subsequently working for Radio Luxembourg and Radio London.

BBC World Service

In the late sixties, Vance presented the hugely popular weekly programme "Pop Club" on the BBC World Service. Each installment of the programme started with Cliff Richard. Members of the "Pop Club" got special badges and membership cards. Every week Vance read listeners' letters and played requests.

Radio 1

In 1967, he was part of the original line-up at BBC Radio 1, presenting the "progressive" show Top Gear along with John Peel. He stayed at Radio 1 into the early 1970s.

Commercial radio

Vance was part of the original line-up at the London station Capital Radio — the first legal commercial pop station to broadcast on land in Britain — in October 1973, initially co-hosting the morning show and then playing reggae and soul music on a weekend show. By 1976, he was also on the Portsmouth ILR station Radio Victory.
He played a pirate radio DJ in the 1975 film Slade In Flame.[3]

Back to the BBC

He returned to Radio 1 in November 1978 to begin a 15-year stint hosting the show for which he is best remembered — the Friday Rock Show. He was to become associated with heavy metal and rock music; his deep, resonant, booming voice and catch-phrase 'classic cuts' have been much imitated.
He also had a two-year stint (10 January 1982 to 1 January 1984) hosting the Sunday-afternoon Top 40, where he showed knowledge of and enthusiasm for a wide range of music, and displayed a similar keenness when he hosted Top of the Pops around the same time. His shows were syndicated on the BFBS, so that he became known in Germany as well. As well as presenting the best-selling singles chart of 1982 and 1983, he also presented the equivalent show in 1991 despite not presenting the weekly chart at the time. He also deputised on the Top 40 for Richard Skinner (in 1984 and 1985), Bruno Brookes (in 1987) and Mark Goodier (in 1991 and 1992).

In 1984/5, Tommy Vance hosted a Thursday night AOR programme on Radio 1, "Into the Music." This was in place for about a year, before being taken off in favour of Andy Kershaw. At a similar time, the "Friday Rock Show" gained an extra hour on MW only, during which the rock charts were played.
When the BBC's new radio station for London, Greater London Radio (GLR), was launched in 1988, Vance presented the drivetime show mixing album-orientated rock and current affairs dubbed "rock and rolling news". Vance departed Radio 1 in March 1993.

Later years

He subsequently joined the soon-to-launch Virgin Radio, for whom he initially presented the weekday drivetime show and later the Friday night show on Virgin Classic rock. Soon after Vance's voluntary departure, similar veteran DJs were forced out of Radio 1 by new controller Matthew Bannister. However, he regretted making the move as the new station was swift to abandon its short-lived more adventurous policy and revert to a lacklustre playlist. He said he should never have left the BBC, although technically he hadn't as he continued presenting 'Rock Salad' for BBC World Service for many years.

Vance continued to broadcast regularly, notably a revived Friday Rock Show for VH1 in the UK, which ran for some years until 2002, and a much-quoted appearance on Brass Eye. He co-founded the internet broadcaster TotalRock with his former Radio 1 producer Tony Wilson and music promoter Andy King, and was presenter and voiceover for the Channel 5 series Dumber and Dumber. In addition, Vance had a feature in series 2 of Channel 4's late night show called The 11 O'Clock Show. The spot was called Tommy Vance's News Slam in which he took a minute to read out news headlines. In 2004 he took part in ITV's Hell's Kitchen but left after 24 hours, stating that he felt the environment was "dangerous" and that he was a risk to himself and the other contestants due to his age.


Vance died of a stroke at Darenth Valley Hospital near Dartford, Kent in the early hours of 6 March 2005.


On 11 March 2005, just a few days after Vance's death, TotalRock ran Rock On, Tommy Day, a 15 hour live broadcast celebrating his life and work, including lots of music, numerous testimonials from artists and colleagues, and also from people who wrote down their thoughts on Tommy at a special Forum, In Memoriam: Tommy Vance, put up at the TotalRock website. As a finale, after the actual live broadcast had ended, the last Friday Rock Show Vance recorded for BBC Radio 1 in 1993 was re-broadcast.
On 31 March 2006, a Tommy Vance Tribute Night, in association with the Teenage Cancer Trust foundation, was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Judas Priest, The Scorpions, Boned and Ian Gillan all performed to pay tribute. There were also special stage appearances by Roger Daltrey and Bruce Dickinson.