Centre Radio was launched on 7 September 1981 in a blaze of publicity and the station’s presenters appeared at many local events preceding the launch. To build people’s interest further, one of their more famous DJs, Timmy Mallett would often rollerskate up and down London Road. Mallett presented the first breakfast show with multi-coloured hair, dressed in a dinner jacket and a bowtie which was filmed for a BBC documentary.
In September 1983, financial problems caused by the recession and alleged overspending setting up the premises hit the fledgling station hard, but attracting listeners also proved difficult. BBC Radio Leicester had been on air since 1967, and many listeners stayed loyal to the BBC.
Centre Radio announced on 6 October 1983 that it would cease trading. Regular programming ended at 1pm with the playing of Paul Young’s “Come Back and Stay”, followed by a short news bulletin read by Tony Cook (Centre’s head of news) announcing the station’s closure. This was followed by continuous music until 5.30pm, when the Diana Ross single “The Boss” faded into a final closing announcement.
The station’s licence was re-advertised and awarded to Leicester Sound, which commenced broadcasting on 7 September 1984. Leicester Sound merged with Trent FM and Ram FM in January 2011 to form the regional station Capital FM East Midlands, based in Nottingham.
1983 Jingle Montage