BBC Three Counties Radio

BBC Three Counties Radio

Infobox Radio Station
name = BBC Three Counties Radio

city = Luton, Milton Keynes
area = Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire
branding =
slogan =
airdate = 24 June 1985
frequency = 90.4FM, 92.1FM, 94.7FM, 95.5FM, 98.0FM, 103.8FM, 104.5FM, 630MW, 1161MW
share = 5.9%
share as of = March 2008
share source = []
format = Local news, talk and music
power =
erp =
class =
callsign_meaning =
owner = BBC Local Radio,
BBC East
website = [ BBC Three Counties Radio]

BBC Three Counties Radio is the BBC Local Radio service for the English counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire (referred to as "Beds, Herts and Bucks"). Its main studios are on Hastings Street in Luton; the studios at Willen in Milton Keynes produce a separate breakfast show from 6am to 9am.


It started as "Radio Bedfordshire" on 24 June 1985, serving the whole of Bedfordshire plus (despite the name) North Bucks and the northern parts of Hertfordshire. Therefore, as well as Luton and Bedford (and the rest of Beds), Milton Keynes, Hemel Hempstead, Harpenden, St Albans, Welwyn Garden City, Letchworth, Stevenage and Hitchin were served by the new station. Almost eight years later, the station changed to its present name on 5 April 1993 to reflect the wider reach across the three counties and to give equal service to all. The editorial area was not, at that point, expanded but enhanced studio facilities and staff were devoted to Bucks & Herts.

BBC 3cr have studios at Willen in Milton Keynes and have produced separate breakfast shows since October 2001, with a separate drivetime show from November 2004 until October 2005, before producing the separate lunchtime programme which ended in February 2007 with a revamp of the schedule,the studio at Willen is there to cover the ever growing Milton Keynes in the main the rest of BBC 3cr programmes come from the main studio in Hastings Street,Luton Bedfordshire.

The station has won several Sony Gold Awards.

New transmitters at Epping Green and Bedmond extended the coverage to Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and west Hertfordshire in late 2005.


BBC Three Counties Radio broadcasts on 90.4FM (Epping Green, near Hertford), 92.1FM (Bedmond, near Hemel Hempstead), 94.7FM (Quainton Hill, near Aylesbury), 95.5FM (Sandy Heath), 98.0FM (High Wycombe), 103.8FM (Zouches Farm, near Luton), 104.5FM (Bow Brickhill, near Milton Keynes), 630 kHz MW (Lewsey Farm, near Luton), 1161 kHz (Kempston, near Bedford), and streaming from the BBC 3CR website. BBC 3CR is not broadcast on digital radio; instead BBC London 94.9 is carried by the London 2 (Switch London) multiplex which is transmitted from Zouches Farm and Bedmond. A Beds, Herts and Bucks digital multiplex, to be run by NOW Digital Ltd, will begin broadcasts in spring 2008.

None of the transmissions are very powerful, but the Milton Keynes 104.5FM signal from Bow Brickhill is the strongest and can be received the furthest; it can be heard in Swindon and as far north as Rugby (where it begins to interfere with Radio Derby).The 95.5 F.M frequency can be heard into Suffolk and fades in the Red Lodge area near Newmarket.The 630 kHz signal from Lewsey Farm can be heard clearly as far north as Lincolnshire and depending on the weather during daytime hours on the East Norfolk coast around Great Yarmouth.,and it can interfere with the Voice of Russia, which is on the [ same frequency] .



A typical broadcast weekday on BBC Three Counties Radio begins at 4am with an hour-long simulcast with BBC Local Radio stations in the BBC East region, presented by Wally Webb with music and chat. The first local programme of the day follows at 5am with Gareth Lloyd. Two separate breakfast shows are aired between 6am and 9am - Helen Legh presents "Morning: MK" for Milton Keynes & surrounding areas whilst Stephen Rhodes presents the Breakfast Show for the rest of the region. Ronnie Barbour presents a mid-morning show at 9am, before Jonathan Vernon Smith hosts the consumer affairs programme, "JVS", between 11am and 2pm.

The afternoon show with Lorna Milton airs from 2pm until 4:30pm, when Roberto Perrone presents "Drivetime" until 7pm. From Monday to Thursday, Three Counties Radio rejoins BBC Local Radio stations in the East at 7pm for the Sue Marchant show, followed by Nick Risby at 10pm with closedown at 1am. On Friday nights, Three Counties Radio airs further local programming with at 7pm "BBC Introducing..." with Gareth Lloyd followed at 8pm by disco and party music from the 70s and 80s with Justin Deeley.


Weekend output includes "Saturday Afternoon with Luke Ashmead" on FM between 2pm and 6pm,"The 70s Album Show", presented by Barry Hyde, on Saturdays at 6pm, followed by "Rock and Roll Heaven" with Keith Skues between 7pm and 9pm. The Saturday night phone-in programme with Richard Spendlove, broadcasts across BBC Local Radio stations in the East, is aired from 9pm until 11pm. From 11pm to 1am, former BBC Radio 2 newsreader Colin Berry presents the late show for the BBC East region and also, BBC Radio Kent.

Sunday programming includes the religious breakfast show "Melting Pot" at 6am, presented by the station's football commentator Ian Pearce. Andy Gelder presents "Treasure Quest" at 9am ahead of a current affairs programme presented by Ernie Almond between 12pm and 3pm. "Pirate Radio Skues" at 9pm features four hours of music from the offshore pirate radio era, presented by Keith Skues and simulcast on all BBC local stations in the east of England and also, BBC Radio Lincolnshire.

External links

* [ BBC Three Counties Radio]
* [ BBC Introducing... in Beds, Herts & Bucks]
* [ BBC Introducing... in Beds, Herts & Bucks on Myspace]
* [ BBC Introducing... in Beds, Herts & Bucks on Youtube]
* [ Gareth Lloyd from BBC Introducing.. in Beds, Herts & Bucks]
* [ Media UK - BBC Three Counties Radio]
* [ Roberto Perrone]
* [ Jonathan Vernon-Smith.]
* [ Bow Brickhill transmitter.]
* [ Epping Green transmitter.]
* [ Hemel Hempstead (Bedmond) transmitter.]
* [ High Wycombe transmitter.]
* [ Lewsey Farm transmitter.]
* [ Kempston transmitter.]
* [ Quainton Hill transmitter.]
* [ Sandy Heath transmitter.]
* [ Zouches Farm transmitter.]


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