Visiting Virgin Radio UK

Richard Branson with Virgin Radio UK DJs
Image from Virgin Radio UK
A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 23 March 2016

Spent an entertaining morning with the new Virgin Radio UK team, touring our London studio, chatting with our presenters and meeting the wonderful team bringing Virgin Radio back to Britain. 

This time next week Virgin Radio will be live on the airwaves, and we’ll be launching with a world-first live broadcast from a moving train – a Virgin Train of course – as it travels across the country from Manchester to London.

Some of the UK’s leading bands, including Travis, The Feeling, Mystery Jets, Gavin James, Emmy the Great and Walking On Cars, will perform live on the train, while my son Sam will be on board with presenters Edith and Matt Richardson too. 

Ahead of the Virgin Radio Star departing, I caught up with the team to hear how our plans are progressing. I especially enjoyed being interviewed by the brilliant Edith Bowman, the only solo, national female breakfast presenter on air when the station launches next week. She asked me plenty of questions about Virgin’s brand, which has had music at its heart since day one.

A photo from the archives of Richard Branson and Chris Evans together
Image from Virgin.com

I shared my two favourite ever records to go in the Virgin vault - can you guess what they are? I’m sure you can!* I’d also love to see your suggestions for what should be included in my top 10 records of all time. For inspiration, here’s my top 65 favourite songs. We also discussed my early memories of Virgin Radio, and the antics of our presenters. From Chris Evans disappearing for a week to Jono Coleman’s nude ad being banned, it was always thrill a minute.

Richard Branson and Edith Bowman in a radio studio
Image from Virgin Radio UK

While many people thought the rise of digital would be the death of radio, it has instead enhanced the experience. You can see (and hear) that from Virgin Radio’s continuing expansion around the globe, from Canada to Lebanon, France to Dubai, Italy to Turkey, Thailand to the UK.

I’m excited to see what Edith and the team come up with. To find out, listeners need to retune their digital radios to pick up Virgin Radio, which launches at 11am on Wednesday 30th March. I’ll be listening, will you?

*one mentions bells, the other mentions bollocks!