Radio history… back to Birmingham – the final show on BRMB Radio and Xtra-AM. 4th April, 1989.

It’s a bit of radio history and I’ve not heard this since 1989 until this week! I presented the very last show on the ‘old’ BRMB Radio, one of the original ‘Big 5’ independent commercial local radio stations in the UK, broadcasting on both am and fm. This was the last show before the frequencies split. It caused trouble at the local prison, as the inmates were not allowed fm radios. They would write to me with requests for loved ones on a late night Saturday show called ‘Romantica’ I’d started a year or so earlier and listen to it on am radios which they were allowed to have!

Thanks to Aircheck Downloads for finding this. And the Brummie radio listeners who pointed this out to me. I think this would have been a copy of an old ‘snoop’ tape. It was a cassette machine in the studio and the recorder switched on as soon as we opened the mic. So the bosses could listen to what we were saying at their leisure!

After BRMB, I went on to work at BBC Radio WM before leaving radio to do something more secure. Theatre! I wrote my first play, Henry V – Lion of England in 1992. Jasper Carrott’s then management, Starward, took us to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which gave me the idea for Maverick Theatre. Although, as you may know, I didn’t completely give up on radio. My weekly show, Literary London on Resonance 104.4fm continues and was voted the Number 2 Bohemian Podcast to follow in the world! Which is why, tongue in cheek, I renamed this site Bohemian Britain.

After the UK Government loosened the ownership rules over the years, commercial businesses moved in and through various groupings, then buying and selling of stations, BRMB is now known as Free Radio. Xtra-am is now known as Gold. Oh, and Old Brian in Hall Green is still one of my best mates!



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