Chelmsford Blog blog

25th anniversary for BBC Essex local radio station

BBC Radio Essex is 25 years old, and two of the station’s original presenters have been recalling their first few days on air.

Alex Lester opened the first breakfast broadcast on 5th November 1986 and Dave Monk and Ken Crowther were part of the original BBC Essex team. Both Dave and Kevin still broadcast programmes on the local station.

Dave Monk said: “I came in at five o’clock in the morning because I wanted to be here from that first moment.”

“The first few hours were very nervy and we were all banned from going anywhere near the studios because Alex [Lester] was very nervous about taking a station on the air for the first time.”

Dave presented the Saturday morning breakfast show.

Ken Crowther was a gardening expert for the station and was part of a Saturday afternoon programme with Jules Bellerby.

He said: “I’ll always remember that first Saturday; I was sat there and looked across to Jules and said ‘do you think anyone is listening?’ which of course went down really well!

“The phones just went mad for gardening which was a complete and utter shock for me, because up until that time I’d had nothing to do with radio.”

Alex Lester, Paddy O’Connell and Richard Bilton and sports presenters Mark Pougatch and Jonathan Overend all started at BBC Essex.

Dave Monk said: “People have been getting in touch with me over the last few weeks about the approaching 25th anniversary. They’ve been saying ‘we’ve been listening to you from day one’ and that is fantastic, it really it is.”


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One Response to 25th anniversary for BBC Essex local radio station

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