Future Radio is Norwich’s alternative radio station. We pride ourselves on producing original, distinctive broadcasting that reflects the people, culture and communities of Norfolk.
Facts about Future Radio
- Future Radio was the only station in the UK to have a regular programme in Lithuanian, and still has regular broadcasts in Polish and Mandarin.
- It was also the first station to broadcast the pioneering Alvin Curran composition Inner Cities (4.5 hours) in its complete form.
- Over 150 volunteers are involved with the station, our youngest volunteer is 16 and our eldest is 70+.
- Radio 1 DJ Greg James is a former Future Radio presenter.
- The Future Radio podcasts have been listened to all over the world – including countries such as China, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Australia & Finland.
- The first person to swear on Future Radio was Charles Clarke MP, when he said ‘bollocks’ live on air.
- Future Radio has a show on Thursday evenings that is produced and presented by the Norfolk Police Constabulary.
- Future Radio plays out more locally produced live programming than any other radio station in Norwich.
- Future Radio plays more local music than any other local radio station in Norwich and Norfolk.
- Future Radio has weekly live music sessions on Tuesdays/Thursdays which feature local and visiting bands to the area.
- Both Alex James (Blur) and Morrissey (The Smiths) are keen fans of DJ78’s Shellac Shake show which airs on Sundays on Future Radio.
- The longest single live show on Future Radio was broadcasted on November 26th - 27th 2009, when Terry Lee presented a fundraising ‘Marathon Broadcast’ for 27 hours.
- Future Radio has 3 fully equipped radio studios, two for on air broadcasting and one for training new presenters.
- Future Radio organizes the annual East Anglian musical talent competition ‘Next Big Thing’, which was broadcast live from the LCR on the radio in 2009.
Highlights and Achievements
August 7th 2008 – 1st anniversary of our full time community radio licence.
October – November 2008 – running the Next Big Thing local bands/musician competition, with the winner (Ed Sheeran) going on to win a recording contract with Island Records in 2009.
January 2009 – Prison radio project with HMP Norwich, the first of its kind in the area, which saw a two part show (‘Over the Wall’) produced by the Young Offenders Institute. The show was highly commended at the Creative East Awards and was the only non-BBC finalist in the ‘Best Radio Programme’ category.
March 2009 – Future Radio is awarded a second, larger community radio licence to cover the whole of Norwich and periphery areas by Ofcom – the first time a licensed community radio station has been awarded a second, increased licence.
Refugee Week (15th – 21st June) – Future Radio is the official radio partner of Refugee Week in Norwich, providing event coverage, refugee interviews and arts coverage throughout the week – with syndicated programming re-broadcast on the official Refugee Week website.
July 2nd 2010 - the official relaunch of Future Radio 107.8FM, and the end of transmissions on our old frequency. At 8.30am, Terry Lee (hosting an extended 5 hour relaunch show) signalled the end of 96.9FM with a ‘funeral song’, which was provided by the Sex Pistols ‘God Save The Queen’. As the song faded, James Bensley and Station Manager Tom Buckham pulled the plug on our old transmitter, and the sounds of Primal Scream ‘Moving on Up’ officially launched Future Radio 107.8FM.
Aims, Objectives and Programming Policy
Future Radio’s key aim and objective is to provide a varied and accessible radio service for communities within West Norwich and ‘communities of interest’ across Norwich.
We aim to use Future Radio for an engagement tool within these communities, an education and training resource, an information and advice service and a platform for local talent.
Our programming policy is fully inclusive and aims to provide opportunities for a wide range of voices and tastes, and cater for minority audiences as well as producing ‘competitive’ programming (such as our breakfast show). This is reflected in our schedule, which focuses significant production time on our core daytime programming, but also caters for local sports, migrant communities, specialist music interests, arts, local music and more.
Major Programming and other ventures
Hamlet – working with 40 actors, musicians and production artists we were able to record a version of Hamlet for radio. An original score was composed specially for the project, and the actors were drawn from theatre and arts groups from all over Norwich and Norfolk – making it a true celebration of local talent.
Norwich Pride – Future Radio was the official radio station for the Norwich Pride event – the first of its kind in the city. As part of our coverage we produced on location reports, ran free promos, covered events and featured a wide range of artists who performed poetry and music live on air. We also covered the event via other media with our photo albums from the opening event and parade one of the most popular sections on our website for that month.
Additional Programming Highlights
Our arts programming (in particular, on the Platform and Community Chest shows) has been something of which we are particularly proud. Information on some of our guests from the arts can be found here and here.
We have commissioned and broadcast a number of radio dramas, original poetry, live sessions and recorded events for broadcast and covered arts event such as Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Black History Month amongst others.
We have also seen the emergence of specialist music shows such as The Shellac Shake which plays strictly 78rpm shellac discs on each show.
Other specialist music shows in the evenings and over the weekend cover a huge range of genres, including reggae, jazz, motown, film soundtracks, ska, gospel, blues, world music, leftfield electronica, house, drum’n’bass, indie, alternative, dubstep, dancehall, Latin, hip hop, soul, rock, metal, punk and britpop. Information on our daytime playlist can be found here.
Audience interaction has been very important to the development of Future Radio, especially during our most recent year on air.
Our audiences are invited to get involved with the station via ‘standard’ means such as shortcode SMS messages and via our website, and our Breakfast show frequently attracts 50-75 messages per show through these means.
Listeners to the station have also been given the opportunity to broadcast their own show via The People’s Playlist - a twice weekly one-hour show that offers anyone from Norwich the opportunity to record a radio show with 12 of their favourite tracks. This has proved immensely popular and has given over 100 of our listeners the chance to broadcast their own show within 2009 alone.