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News As It Happens

The moments that made LBC

 a time when on mainstream TV and radio, news bulletins only appeared a few times a day, the television news for instance relied on 'film' reports that had to be developed and edited before being shown, a process that could take half a day to complete. News in the 1970s didn't exactly appear at the speed of sound.

LBC radio dramatically changed that landscape by being the first radio station to make use of portable telephones for reporting. Staying with a story and broadcasting events as they happen, something that we now take for granted in the broadband multi-platform 21st century.


The moments that made LBC

The Opening of LBC October 8th 1973

LBC studio

David Jessel was the very first voice heard on LBC at six o'clock on a chilly October

 morning in 1973. There is a rumour that seconds before he had been violently ill into the waste paper basket. Jessel

 recalls that moment: "You just knew disaster was looming, we went on the air with three hours stretching in front of

 us with no Producers no Reporters and no stories."

Jessel remembers asking the bosses what should be in the show. "They said just talk about interesting things that 

have happened that day, I said it is six o'clock in the morning, the day hasn't happened!"

After a few very rocky months, LBC finally found its feet and can proudly claim to have perfected the phone-in 

radio show. Acerbic hosts like Brian Hayes confronted his audience and goaded them to dare to have a point of 

view. To the radio audience of the 1970s it was all a breath of fresh air. LBC in its many guises and incarnations and

 the odd lost licence has continued to breathe fresh air into the listening lungs of its audience and is still as robust 

and provocative as it ever was.

Original Studios on Gough Square 

George Gale