Listen up, Red Rose Radio is being reborn this summer - thanks to former presenter Rob Charles

A famous name is returning to Lancashire's airwaves this summer.

By Catherine Musgrove
Friday, 13th May 2022, 3:45 pm

Red Rose Radio has been reborn after former presenter Rob Charles bought the name and decided to run it on his own - initially broadcasting from home set-ups.

"It's a dream come true", said Rob, 58, who began working on Rock FM in 1992 and Red Rose in 1998, before its name changed to Red Rose Gold, Magic 999 and then later became Greatest Hits Lancashire.

"I've always wanted my own station, but until recently, unless you were one of the big companies it wasn't possible."

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Rob Charles has bought the Red Rose Radio name

Rob, who lives in Chorley, was talking about his dream with a friend last year when the Red Rose name was mentioned.

He said: "My friend jokingly said why not call it Red Rose Radio?

"I thought it had already been registered, but when I went onto Companies House, I could see that the registration ended on July 13. I couldn't believe it was up for grabs, so I was up, clock-watching at midnight that night and bought the name.

"Then you have to wait three months to make sure that nobody challenges you over it, so that was pretty nerve wracking."

Red Rose Radio will launch in summer 2022

Set to launch online in July and on DAB in August or September under the umbrella of Preston DAB's licence, Red Rose Radio will be aimed at people who used to listen to Rob's Rock FM shows in the 90s.

He said: "It's going to be a 45-plus audience, but I'm really keen to have a much better music variety than what's out there now.

"You will find a lot of stations have about 1,000 songs that are played on a loop and what you've heard on the way into work in the morning, you'll hear again on the way home."

Rob intends to present the breakfast show himself, and said he's had a lot of interest from other well-known broadcasters and investors since Ofcom announced the news on Thursday.

The station will cover the Preston, Chorley and Leyland areas, will be 24-hours a day, commercial, and will feature a mixture of music, news and chat.

Rob - who syndicates his show Songs That Don't Get Played On The Radio Anymore to more than 40 countries - is also keen to shine a light on local businesses and interests that may also have been overlooked.

He said: "The Red Rose name is synonymous with Lancashire and has a lot of history in the area. I'm very excited to be announcing this news and I hope other people are too."

The logo- bearing the station's iconic red rose petals - was designed by Rob's son Jamie Smith, 23.

Red Rose Radio’s history

Red Rose Radio was the first UK Independent Local Radio station to be licensed for Lancashire by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA).

The service launched on October 5, 1982 on 301m medium wave (999 kHZ) and 97.3 VHF/FM.

The first voice was that of chairman - and local businessman - Owen Oyston.

By January 1985, the Radio Marketing Bureau reported the total adult population in the transmission area was 900,000 people and in the early days, Red Rose Radio "drew in 60 per cent of people listening to the radio".