On 3 October 2000 the Real Radio brand was launched after GMG Group won its first broadcast licence, serving South and West Wales. Following an introduction by Sir Tom Jones, the station’s founding Managing Director John Myers introduced the song “A Star is Born”.
Real Radio Wales was a music and speech station, playing a AC format of classic, contemporary and current music the past 25 years to the present day. The station also carried news bulletins every hour between the hours of 6am and 7pm weekdays and from 6am to 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays (including half-hour headlines at breakfast and drivetime) from Cardiff. Other bulletins were provided by Sky News through IRN.
In December 2008, GMG Group was awarded the corresponding North and Mid Wales licence. Following an agreed format change request with OFCOM, the existing South and West Wales service was rolled out to the new coverage area. The station began broadcasting on its North and Mid Wales frequencies on 4 January 2011.
On 25 June 2012 it was announced Global Radio (the owner of stations such as Capital and Heart) had bought GMG Radio. The former GMG stations, including Real Radio, continued to operate separately until a regulatory review was carried out.
Under OFCOM rules, the sale required Real Radio Wales to be split in two with separate stations, launched under separate owners.
Both stations were rebranded and relaunched as Heart South Wales and Heart North Wales on Tuesday 6 May 2014.
We were saddened to hear that John Myers, who launched Real Radio Wales, as well as CFM in Carlisle and Century Radio in Newcastle Upon Tyne, had died aged only 60. He was well known for presenting on Border Television in Carlisle, but began his radio career with BBC Radio Cumbria, before moving onto Red Rose Radio.
Real Radio Wales Launch 03/10/2000
Listen to the first few minutes of Real Radio as John Myers launches the station onto the airwaves…
Real Radio Wales Jingles