BBC Radio 5 Live is celebrating 30 years on the radio

BBC Radio 5 Live has announced plans to celebrate its 30th birthday on Thursday 28 March 2024 with special programmes.

Since its launch on Monday 28 March 1994 at 5am, Radio 5 Live has become the home of the BBC's top news and live sport. 30 years later, the station remains the voice of England and is one of the country's leading channels for news and current affairs, talk radio and sports broadcasting.

Since its inception, 5 Live has set the standard in sports commentary. Since the launch of its digital station Radio 5 Sports Extra in 2002, the network's coverage has grown exponentially, thanks to its unique commitment to ensuring listeners have a front-row seat to all major sporting events, including the Premier League and football World Cups. Cricket and rugby, the Ashes, Wimbledon and the Ryder Cup, the Olympic Games and the European Championships are set to be held again this summer.

To mark the birthday milestone, 5 Live is planning a day of celebratory shows and conversations. On 5 Live Breakfast, Rick Edwards and Rachel Burton will be joined by former presenter and Jane Garvey, the first voice on the station in 1994. From 10am, listeners can listen to Nicky Campbell's phone-in special birthday show where he asks listeners to share their biggest 5 Live moments – '30 years of 5 Live and you?'

As one of the first voices on air, Adrian Chiles will be joined by longtime 5 Live anchor Eleanor Oldroyd to relive some of the biggest news and sports stories of the past 30 years.

On 5 Live Drive, he reminisces about his time on the show alongside former Drive presenter Peter Allen, Tony Livesey and Clare McDonnell. Throughout the show, they will continue to hear stories from across the UK about how 5 Live has impacted the lives of listeners.

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In the evening, 5 Live Sport will present 30 defining sporting moments from 30 years of 5 Live. From Euro 96 and London 2012's Super Saturday, to Andy Murray's historic Wimbledon triumph and the Lions' Euro win, Eleanor Oldroyd will relive some of the most ear-catching sporting moments of the past three decades alongside special guests. BBC Sport reveals the top 10 moments as voted by listeners via the website.

Online and on 5 Live's social channels, the station will bring its unique history to life through a digital audio archive with '5 Live's Yearbook'. With a selection of the station's most memorable news and sports moments from three decades of 5 Live, the biggest highlights from the archive will be broadcast throughout the official birthday on Thursday 28 March.

BBC Radio 5 Live Controller Heidi Dawson said: “We are delighted to be celebrating this milestone with our listeners. Radio 5 Live has been bringing people together for 30 years, with stories shared by listeners through the biggest news and sporting events that have changed lives. Our presenters are a constant companion, taking you to great events with them, making you think and laugh.

He continues: “After 30 years, the station continues to evolve with our audience. 5 Live audiences listen digitally more than any other BBC station, and on BBC Sounds we offer live radio as well as great podcasts from sport, inquiries to entertainment chat.


5 Live Breakfast host, Rachel Burton, says: “5 Live has been my workplace and my work family for over 20 years. From the magic of the London 2012 Olympics to interviewing our Prime Ministers, it has taken me to places and events I never thought I would see in person. It makes me laugh and challenges me every day, and what I've learned from working at the station is that our audience is what makes 5 Live so special. They have an amazing hive mind of knowledge and experience that we should never underestimate or take for granted.

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5 Live Drive Time presenter, Clare McDonnell says: “5 Live brings your everyday conversations. That is what it has been doing brilliantly for 30 years. As informed observers of the nation's conversation, I think what we do at 5 Live is an incredible privilege, and none of us take that lightly. Every time I sit in Downing Street when another Prime Minister resigns or takes office – I have a front-row seat to historic moments in our nation's history, and that is something to be truly grateful for.

5 Live Sport and weekend breakfast presenter Eleanor Oldroyd, who has worked at the station since its inception, says: “5 Live has been my radio home all my life, so I'm delighted to be part of the 30th birthday celebrations. . The station has grown and evolved over the years, but keeps the same principle at its core, somewhere people turn to for company, both during times of celebration like big sports and national events, and in times of uncertainty like during the Covid pandemic.”

„I've had many wonderful experiences working at 5 Live, but working on the London and Sydney Olympics have been some of the greatest privileges of my life because of the way the fans and listeners have embraced each game. Paris 2024 will be my 13th Olympics and I think it will have the same joy.

Overnight presenter Dodun Adebayo, who has been with 5 Live for over 25 years, says: “5 Live is the sound of British radio at its best to me. Being one of the station's longest-serving anchors and a regular night watchman for over two and a half decades is a privilege beyond my wildest dreams, and I am delighted to celebrate this milestone with them. One of the many things I've learned at 5th Live is that we're all in this together, and I love talking to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland late at night. hours and keep them company.

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Mid-morning anchor Naga Munchetti says: “5 Live is a listening experience that is never predictable and that is why it is so successful. The station is thought-provoking, lively and has a deep connection with its audience. It's a privilege to work with anchors and journalists I love and trust. What I love most about my job is that you never know what to expect, we can talk about the day and run with it, it's always great to see our audience passionately engage with us.. Happy Birthday, 5 Live!”

Long-time 5 Live presenter, Colin Murray, says: “The first and last thing in radio is, quite simply, the listeners. That's it – conversation, connection and community.

„Before weeknights and fight talk, now on Sunday mornings, 5 Live gives me the opportunity to do just that… to connect and unite and lead people across the nation and beyond. That's the privilege, the value. And the magic of radio.”

Late night presenter Gordon Smart says: “Radio 5 Live is the metronome in my life. I slept with it on when I was in university and somehow my brain absorbed the information. This station has been my companion for a long time – especially when I travel.

“After a brutal few years in my health and career, every day I walk in the door I am grateful and honored to engage with listeners. It always feels special, but especially when there's a bigger story we need to filter and decode together.


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