BBC Somerset

BBC Somerset

Infobox Radio Station
name = BBC Somerset

city = Taunton
area = Somerset
branding =
slogan =
airdate = 11 April 1988
frequency = 95.5 MHz, 1566 kHz
share = 3.0%
share as of = March 2008
share source = []
format = Local news, talk and music
power =
erp =
class =
callsign_meaning =
owner = BBC Local Radio,
BBC West
website = [ BBC Somerset]

BBC Somerset, the new name for BBC Somerset Sound, is the BBC Local Radio service for the shire county of Somerset. BBC Radio Bristol serves the northern parts of the ceremonial county of Somerset – Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset.

Launched on 11 April 1988, it broadcasts from its studios in Park Street, Taunton on 95.5 MHz FM and 1566 kHz AM, as well as taking programmes from BBC Radio Bristol, the station that previously had broadcast on BBC Somerset's earlier ill-fated pre-2002 1323 kHz MW frequency.

Prior to 3 December 2007 BBC Somerset could only be received as a whole on MW or on the web. [cite web |url= |title=BBC Sonmerset |accessdate=2007-12-03 |format= |work=BBC ] However, from this date onwards the service also became available on the former BBC Radio Bristol frequency of 95.5 MHz.

The BBC's Annual Report and Accounts for 2005/2006 [cite web |url= |title=Annual Report and Accounts for 2005/2006 |accessdate=2007-12-03 |format= |work=BBC ] stated: "The BBC is committed to extending its network of local radio stations to a limited number of under served areas, and BBC management is carrying out preparatory work for new stations in Somerset, Dorset and Cheshire.". However, due to the BBC funding settlement in 2007, it has been decided that BBC Somerset shall remain as a part time 'opt-out' from Radio Bristol, at least in the short term.

Because Somerset currently does not have its own DAB multiplex, the station cannot be heard on digital radio.

BBC Somerset Bus

BBC Somerset got a new mobile radio studio in the shape of a single-decker bus in May 2007. The role of the BBC Somerset Bus across the county includes:
* To bring BBC Somerset out into local communities across the county
* To help to improve what people in county want from their local radio station, and from the BBC in general
* To promote the major BBC campaigns, such as the Reading and Writing project (RaW) and Springwatch and Autumnwatch among many others
* To feedback to the BBC any brickbats and bouquets - from listeners/viewers who might not usually have the chance to comment
* To broadcast live shows from towns and villages around Somerset

Programming for the bus is managed by staff reporter Andrew Enever and the day to day operation and technical support is provided by Liam O'Leary.

The Challenge

Staff at BBC Somerset aim to create the first carbon-zero radio station in the UK in 2007 in an initiative known as The Challenge. [cite web |url= |title=The Challenge |accessdate=2007-12-03 |format= |work=BBC ]

BBC local radio, online and TV staff based in Taunton have had 'eco-auditors' to look at every aspect of their operation - from the mileage of the transport fleet down to what happens to the office tea bags. [cite web |url= | |accessdate=2007-12-03 |format= | ]

According to the auditors, the station – with headquarters in Taunton and a large district studio in Yeovil – generates more than 64 tonnes of CO2 each year. On hearing the results the staff are voluntarily dipping into their own pockets to fund the three main accredited methods of carbon offsetting – tree planting, sustainable projects and carbon trading. On average the cost to each member of staff will be between £25 and £50, depending on their salary. Now staff are looking at all areas where pollution is generated to reduce the station's carbon footprint and make it more environmentally friendly. These include:

* The fleet of cars for reporters are to be swapped for fuel-efficient vans.
* Even more efficient vehicles will be tested over the next few months.
* Most reporters now use laptops, to work from home, reducing commuter miles.
* Lighting systems are to be replaced with more energy-efficient ones.
* Loft insulation is to be improved and installing double glazing will be looked at.
* The electricity and paper supplies will be checked to make sure they are eco-friendly.
* Water coolers are being removed in favour of tap water.
* Food waste will be separated for composting – even tea bags get their own bin.

Future projects include:

* Ensuring all cleaning products are eco-friendly.
* Potentially piloting a new breed of 'stop-go' car, which switches off the engine when at a standstill.
* Using of biofuels in all transport.
* Planning permission being sought for solar panels and investigations being carried out into potential of use of a wind turbine.


Current presenters include:

* [ Simon Parkin]
* [ Jo Phillips]
* [ Elise Rayner]
* [ Jess Rudkin]
* [ Adam Thomas]

Former presenters include:

* Carrie Davis (The Chris Moyles Show)
* Fi Glover (Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4)


Much of BBC Somerset's broadcast schedule carries programming from Radio Bristol. The station remains on-air 24 hours a day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Radio 5 Live's "Up All Night" simulcast overnight from Monday to Thursday. Radio Bristol is simulcast all day on Sunday

Weekday schedule

*0500-0600 Radio Bristol simulcast
*0600-0900 "Somerset's Big Breakfast" with Adam Thomas
*0900-1200 "Morning Jo"
*1200-1700 Radio Bristol simulcast
*1700-1900 "Somerset's Drive" with Elise Rayner
*1900-0100 Radio Bristol simulcast
*0100-0500 Radio 5 Live: "Up All Night"

Friday variations

*1900-0700 Radio Bristol simulcast


*0700-1000 "Saturday Breakfast" with Simon Parkin
*1000 onwards: Radio Bristol simulcast


External links

* [ BBC Somerset]
* [ Media UK - BBC Somerset]

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