This is the fifteenth post in a series looking at the original nineteen ILR stations. This week Radio Victory.
Airdate: 14 October 1975
Still on air?: No, closed in 1986
Radio Victory was the first of the original ILR stations to lose its licence, replaced from 28 June 1986 by Ocean Sound. Its early history is interesting and for such a small station it was well supplied with ex-BBC staff due, in no small part, to its first Programme Controller being former Radio 1 DJ David Symonds. David declared that his programme policy was to meet with the DJs and discuss with them the timeslots they each felt best they could do. His stay at Victory was, however, short-lived.
David’s early appointments included Dave Christian from Radio Luxembourg and Eugene Fraser as presenter and Assistant Head of Programmes from the BBC. Eugene had been a newsreader and presenter on Radio 2 (Night Ride, Brass and Strings etc.) and would return to the BBC as a newsreader on Radio 4. Former Light Programme and Radio 1 DJ Don Moss also joined in 1976 to present Don Moss’s Sunday Jaunt.
During 1975 and 1976 Victory even had Kenny Everett as one of its presenters. Kenny provided pre-recorded shows for the station and inevitably created some bespoke jingles in his home studio.
When Victory first went on air it was DJ Glenn Richards who made the opening announcement. Glenn would later make the occasional appearance on Radio 2 on the BBC Radio Orchestra shows and later, by now known as CJ, present on DevonAir.
Read more about David Symond’s career in this post.
Here’s the Radio Guide programme listings published in December 1977:
What a packed and varied schedule Victory had with 40 different programmes across the week including jazz, folk, rock ‘n’ roll, classical, religion, motoring, quizzes, gardening, fishing and antiques.
Folk & Us presenter was comedian and singer Shep Woolley. With a motoring programme was former Formula 3 champion and rally driver Jean Denton, later Baroness Denton of Wakefield.
Breakfast Show presenter Howard Pearce would later go on to work at Radio 210, Luxembourg, Radio 2, Mercury, VH1, Sky Sports, Virgin, Jazz FM, Smooth and Silverstone Radio.
With the mid-morning Trends (the name of a feature on Round the Horne if I recall) was Christine, better known as Chrissie, Pollard. Starting as a reporter on the Western Daily Press and Bristol Evening Post she got her taste for broadcasting as a reporter for the BBC in Birmingham. There followed stints for the BFBS in Cologne and then Malta, co-presenting The Five O’Clock Run with David Burrows. Back in the UK Chrissie was at Victory and then at TVS in Southampton as one of the co-anchors of Coast to Coast. Due to family connection with South Africa she spent time training would-be broadcasters at CCFM, a Christian radio station in Cape Town. Still broadcasting Chrissie was on Hope FM in Bournemouth and can be heard on Offshore Music Radio and occasionally on BBC Radio Solent.
Jack McLaughlin (aka Yak MacFisheries, aka The Laird of Cowcaddens) had been a pirate DJ on Radio Scotland, Britain Radio, Radio 390 and Radio 270 (under the name Steve Taylor).He went legit and was with the original team at Radio Clyde and also worked as an announcer/presenter on Grampian Television and STV (Pop Scotch, Thingummyjig and Junior Try for Ten) and on BBC Radio 2 (Folk 74 and Folk 75). Whilst at Capital he was poached by David Symonds to join Radio Victory where by 1977 he was Head of Programmes and News. Later Jack would establish Radio Scotland Worldwide Ltd, an internet broadcast company, though as far as I can ascertain this company has been dissolved.
Anton Darby, known as ‘Dapper Darby’, hosted Darby Day (oh, those punning ILR programme titles again). Anton had trained as an actor and had appeared in such TV programmes as The Wednesday Play and Softly Softly. After his spell on radio he continued to work in TV both as an actor and behind the scenes – I spotted his name as ASM when recently watching some old episodes of The Darling Buds of May.
Dave Christian (real name David Crockford) returned to the Grand Duchy, again working for RTL but this time broadcasting on the French and German services. Dave died in 2010.
Tea Time Treat host Andy Ferris was another ex-BBC member of the team, he’d been on Radio 1 alongside David Symonds and others as one of the presenters of Sounds of the Seventies as well as being on the review programme What’s New. Does anyone know what subsequently became of Andy?
Nicky Jackson, as he was then known, was taken on as a trainee DJ having worked in the discos of Portsmouth. Later as Nick Jackson he joined Radio 2 as an announcer/newsreader and presenter (Star Sound and You and the Night and the Music). You’ll also hear his voice on old episodes of Celebrity Squares and Catchphrase.
Presenter of The Wonderful Wobbly Wireless Show was Sarah Ward who was well known to Capital Radio listeners and to those of the BBC World Service. Sarah had cut her broadcasting teeth on the BFBS in Nairobi before joining The Voice of Kenya and then as a BBC announcer and presenter of Junior Points of View. These days Sarah can be heard on Jazz FM with the daily Dinner Jazz.
Dave Carson would go to host Victory’s Breakfast Show and then run entertainment agency Accolade Productions in Southampton. Daughter Lucy is a singer and son Jon runs an entertainment business.
With Fish on Sunday (surely you have fish on a Friday?) was Tony Fish. Tony left school to work as a TV repair man before joining the BBC in 1970 as a technical operator. Four years later he was at Radio 1working in production before joining BBC Radio London doing their traffic reports. In April 1975 he presented the Breakfast Show at that station and then later that year Home Run. At the same time he was on Victory with his Sunday morning show. Tony became a tutor at the BBC Radio Training Unit before moving into BBC local radio management, first at BBC Radio York, then Newcastle and Shropshire. He retired in 2002 and died suddenly in 2005.
Presenting a couple of shows on Saturday evening was Keith Butler. Keith would go on to be a very popular DJ at Radio 210 followed by Capital Gold, Easy Radio and finally Time 106.6. He died unexpectedly in 2008.
This is the station information published in January 1978:
DJ audio courtesy of Ingemar Lindqvist and Paul Stenning.