What you need to know about Radio 1 Vintage


On 30 September 1967, radio changed forever. That’s because it was on this day that BBC Radio 1 first hit the airwaves. Five decades later and Radio 1 continues to be the essential soundtrack for young people in the UK – consistently playing a seminal role in shaping music, entertainment and popular culture.

To celebrate the 50th birthday of such an iconic station, us lucky listeners are invited on a trip down memory lane with Radio 1 Vintage. We're even getting in on the festivities with a huge Twitter giveaway!

So if you want to tune in, here’s everything you need to know about the Beeb’s exciting new pop-up station.

What is Radio 1 Vintage?

Radio 1 Vintage is a 3-day pop-up digital radio station set to celebrate 50 years since Radio 1’s first ever broadcast. Launching on the morning of Saturday 30 September, the station will feature nostalgic shows crammed with unforgettable archive material and some of the greatest music from the past five decades.

The aim of the station is to bring together generations of listeners, who will be able to relive the memories of iconic broadcasters and on-air moments they enjoyed during their youth.

What can I expect to hear?

The pop-up station will comprise of 50 one-hour shows, each focusing on iconic DJ names from across Radio 1’s illustrious history. These include; John Peel, Noel Edmonds, Annie Nightingale, Jo Whiley and many more. DJs will be invited back to share their most cherished memories at the start of their programmes, followed by a compilation of their greatest moments.  

Kicking off proceedings on Saturday morning will be radio legend Tony Blackburn, who will be attempting a live re-creation of his debut Radio 1 show. This special broadcast will feature Flowers In The Rain by The Move – famously the first song ever played on Radio 1.

Following this at 8.30am will be a live triple cast on Radio 1 Vintage, Radio 1 and Radio 2, co-hosted by Tony Blackburn and current Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw. Expect a heap of special guests and some of the finest footage from the Radio 1 archive.

There will also be special programmes across the weekend about classic shows such as Radio 1 Roadshow, the Official Chart and the Live Lounge.

Want to plan your weekend listening? Click here to check out the full Radio 1 Vintage schedule.

How can I tune in?

To listen to Radio 1 Vintage you may need to re-tune your Pure DAB radio (from Friday 29 September). This can be done by either pressing a re-tune or auto-tune button or by going in to the menu and selecting scan, re-tune or auto-tune.

BBC Radio 1 Vintage should then appear between BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra on the station list.

Not sure if you can get coverage where you live? The BBC’s national digital radio service reaches 97% of the UK population and you can check coverage by entering your postcode here.