BBC Radio Solent

BBC Radio Solent is the BBC Local Radio service for the Isle of Wight and the English counties of Hampshire and Dorset. Its studios are located in Southampton, in the same purpose-built office block in Havelock Road as the BBC South Today news studios, and there are district offices in Portsmouth, Newport, Bournemouth, Poole and Dorchester. It was based until 1991 in South Western House, the former railway hotel at the old Southampton Terminus station.

BBC Radio Solent
BBC Radio Solent
CitySouthampton (with smaller offices in Bournemouth, Dorchester, Newport, Poole and Portsmouth)
Broadcast areaHampshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight
SloganLoving life in the South
Frequency96.1 FM, 999 MW DAB (NOW South Hampshire)
Freeview: 722
Dorset version: 103.8 FM, 1359 MW Dorset DAB, Freeview: 734
First air date31 December 1970
FormatLocal news, talk and music
OwnerBBC Local Radio,
BBC South
WebsiteBBC Radio Solent


The station, which began broadcasting on 31 December 1970, is named after the Solent, the area of sea between Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. In 1996 Radio Solent expanded its coverage into West Dorset and South Dorset by taking over neighbouring BBC Dorset FM, which was formerly an opt-out of BBC Radio Devon. In 2013 a new programme targeted specifically for Dorset listeners on 103.8FM was launched under the name Breakfast in Dorset, after campaigns for a more locally focused service. The programme comes from a studio complex based in Dorchester and the programme is also broadcast county wide on DAB.

According to RAJAR, the station has a weekly audience of 218,000 listeners and a 5.3% share as of December 2018.[1]


Nick Girdler in the BBC Radio Solent studio in Southampton.

The service is broadcast on 96.1 FM and 999 AM for Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and eastern Dorset; and on 103.8 FM and 1359 AM for western Dorset; on DAB (NOW South Hampshire and NOW Bournemouth); and via its website using Flash and Windows Media streaming formats.

North and north-east Hampshire

The signal for Hampshire on 96.1 FM from Rowridge on the Isle of Wight is less clearly audible north of Winchester than the transmissions from other BBC Local Radio stations, so that the north Hampshire town of Basingstoke is officially looked after by BBC Radio Berkshire (on 104.1 FM from Hannington), while towns such as Aldershot, Farnborough and Fleet in the north-east of the county are served by BBC Surrey via their Guildford transmitter on 104.6 FM. BBC Surrey's slogan into the news is: "The radio station for Surrey & North-East Hampshire".


The majority of BBC Radio Solent's programming is produced and broadcast from its Southampton studios. During off-peak hours, BBC Radio Solent also produces some regional programming for the South and South East regions. During the station's downtime, BBC Radio Solent simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live overnight.

Notable presenters include Alex Dyke and Paul Miller.

Notable past presenters


  1. ^ "RAJAR". RAJAR. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  2. ^ Yandell, Chris (20 August 2012), "Listener petition to save the Roger Day show on BBC Radio Solent", Southern Daily Echo. Retrieved 27 January 2018

External links

Alex Dyke

Alex Dyke (born 19 February 1962) is an English Sony Radio Academy Award-winning broadcaster, radio presenter, and disc jockey on BBC Radio Solent.

Alison Booker

Alison Chapman (formerly Booker; 23 June 1963 – 1 July 2010) was a presenter and newsreader at 106 Jack FM (Oxfordshire) and BBC Oxford.

She was born in Exeter, England and educated at Blundell's School. She fell in love with radio at Exeter University, presenting on the uni's own station URE. She claimed her entire career had been an accident (having studied French and Philosophy) as it was the DJ on URE she fancied first, not the show. Her first job with the BBC was with the now-defunct BBC Dorset FM, which is now part of BBC Radio Solent. When her first husband moved the family to Oxfordshire, she talked her way into BBC Radio Oxford BBC Radio Oxford, where she worked for more than a decade.

Alison had two children by her first husband, David Booker; Joanne and Douglas Booker. She made a life and a home in Wantage, Oxfordshire where the children attended the local schools and continue to live. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. After a double mastectomy, radiation and chemotherapy she returned to her Afternoon Show on BBC Radio Oxford. She tackled it with her usual sense of humour, once joking to a doctor who needed to examine her that she didn't take her clothes off for anything less than a couple of really good meals and a bunch of flowers. Her breast cancer returned in February 2006, having metastasized to her lungs. She married her partner of five years, Andrew Chapman, in May 2006 after proposing to him on air on Children in Need day in 2005.

She retired from the BBC in January 2007. After a year at home, and bored with just waiting to die, she accidentally got freelance work at the then recently launched 106 Jack FM. She went full-time in September 2008. In 2009, she started documenting her life with cancer via audio diaries which were broadcast on 106 Jack FM (Oxfordshire) In May 2010, she was awarded the Silver Sony award. A few weeks later the diaries won Ali commercial radio’s top award – a Radio Academy Gold Arqiva. Her diaries were featured in The Sunday Times on 27.6.2010 and The Independent on 1.7.2010. MP Ed Vaizey also paid tribute to Ali in the House of Commons on 24.6.2010. Her diaries are available in iTunes or via Podomatic (see AlisDiaries).

BBC Dorset FM

BBC Dorset FM was a BBC Local Radio station based in Dorchester, covering the county of Dorset in England which broadcast from 1993 to 1996. It was the last BBC Local Radio station to launch which covered a previously unserved area. It operated as an opt-out station from BBC Radio Devon for around 23 hours a week.

BBC Radio Berkshire

BBC Radio Berkshire is the BBC Local Radio service for the English county of Berkshire, North Hampshire, and South Oxfordshire. Radio Berkshire broadcasts on 94.6 (Henley-on-Thames), 95.4 (Windsor), 104.1 (Hannington) and 104.4 (Reading) FM from its studios at Thames Valley Park near Reading. The station is also available on DAB, Freeview, and through live streaming on the internet, also on demand for thirty days after broadcast through the BBC iPlayer.

According to RAJAR, the station has a weekly audience of 94,000 listeners and a 5.1% share as of December 2018.

BBC South

BBC South is the BBC English Region serving southern Northamptonshire,

Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, the majority of West Sussex, eastern and central Dorset, a small part of eastern Gloucestershire, western Berkshire and parts of Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Wiltshire.

Bill Buckley (radio presenter)

Bill Buckley (born 8 January 1959) is a radio and television presenter and former actor. For three years, he was a co-presenter of BBC Television's consumer affairs programme That's Life!. He currently presents on BBC Radio Berkshire and has presented shows on BBC Radio Solent, BBC Southern Counties Radio, BBC Radio Devon, BBC Radio Oxford, London talk radio station LBC 97.3, BBC London 94.9 and numerous others.

Claire Anderson (DJ)

Claire Anderson is an English radio DJ, television presenter and voice-over artist. She was the presenter of the Sony-nominated The Late Lounge on Jazz FM from 2009 until 2016. She remains the station's voice.Anderson began as a DJ on Whiston Hospital Radio in Prescot, Merseyside. A year later, she joined Rock FM and went on to present radio shows across England, including Ocean FM, Power FM, Wave 105 and BBC Radio Solent (2009–2012).She became a full-time voice-over artist in 2001, becoming the voice of MTV UK & Ireland shortly thereafter.She has also presented several television shows — including Channel 4's Scientific Eye, ITV's House of Fun and Channel 5's The Mag — and was a showbiz correspondent for Sky.

Her timeslot on Jazz FM was weekdays from 10pm to midnight.

Dave Merrington

David Robert Merrington (born 26 January 1945) is an association football commentator for BBC Radio Solent and a former professional player and coach.

David Grossman (journalist)

David M. Grossman is a British journalist who has worked extensively for the BBC, and was a Political Correspondent for BBC Two's current affairs programme Newsnight.He was educated at St Albans School, an independent school for boys (now co-educational) in St Albans in Hertfordshire, followed by the University of East Anglia where he graduated with a degree in Politics in 1987. Grossman has worked as a reporter for On The Record, as a reporter and presenter on BBC Radio Solent, as a reporter with BBC South Today, and as Political Correspondent for BBC North West. He is Newsnight's Technology Editor.


Girdler is a surname of professional origin. Girdlers or belt makers were people who made metal belts worn around the waist and other small metal objects. It may refer to:

Eddie Girdler, American politician and mayor of Somerset, Kentucky

Nick Girdler, freelance radio broadcaster who worked for BBC Radio Solent for 35 years from 1972 to 2006

Ryan Girdler (born 1972), Australian former rugby league footballer of the 1990s and 2000s

William Girdler (1947–1978), American filmmaker

John Piper (broadcaster)

John Piper was the mid-morning host on BBC Radio Solent throughout the 1970s. His programme was called Piper's Tune. The show had a huge following, and consisted of a mix of music, guests and the regular feature, "Give a Neighbour a Hand," in which listeners would offer advice to people who called in asking for help. In 1979, Piper left BBC Radio Solent to join Two Counties Radio in Bournemouth, as the station's first Programme Controller. He was involved with a programme called Without Walls in 1995. He remained on the air until he retired to Spain with his wife, Dilys. Piper also served as mayor of his home town, Sitio de Calahonda, near Málaga, in the latter half of the 1980s. Piper was also a journalist and naturalist who served in Special Operations during World War II.

Lee McKenzie (male sports broadcaster)

Lee McKenzie is a British broadcaster who specialises in sport. He has worked for BBC TV and Radio and Sky Sports. From June 2001 for two years he was the BBC's full-time radio horse racing commentator, succeeding Peter Bromley. McKenzie has presented the daily sports round-up on BBC South on the weekday evening BBC South Today programme, and the Saturday afternoon show Sportstime on BBC Radio Solent. On the same radio station, he co-hosted the Sunday morning music and phone-in show Sunday Scene.

In July 2011 McKenzie was one of the judges at the final of the Filly Factor, a competition to find Britain's first female horse racing commentator. In April 2012 he co-commentated on the 2012 Grand National with TV presenter James May in a recorded feature for the Man Lab programme first broadcast on BBC2 on 28 March 2013. The commentary was also broadcast live on the BBC Red Button.

He is a regular contributor to horse racing discussions on Talksport radio and in March 2016 he partnered presenter Ian Danter and Rupert Bell during the launch programme of the new Talksport franchise, talkSPORT2, at the Cheltenham Festival. Since December 2016 McKenzie has been the regular presenter of the talkSPORT2 programme The Racing Club.

List of BBC properties

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) occupies many properties in the United Kingdom, and occupied many other in previous years. The headquarters of the corporation is Broadcasting House in London; with many other divisions located in London and around the UK. Since 2007 the BBC has been developing a significant base at MediaCityUK in Salford, to which it has relocated several departments. There are also production bases in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff and Glasgow. The BBC also owns news bureaux and relay stations outside the UK.

Lou Brown

Lou Brown (born 1978) is an English singer-songwriter who received the 2003 Southwest's Young Achiever of the Year Award and took part in the Prince's Trust's "Soundlive" programme, where she was offered the opportunity to learn skills from professional working musicians, and subsequently won a grant from the Trust to fund her first major album project. In addition to releasing two albums, What Are You Singing About (2006) and Calm the Rising Waters (2010), she performed at Glastonbury Festival 2009 and appeared on BBC Radio 2's Wake Up to Wogan.A native of the Dorset seaside resort town of Bournemouth, Lou Brown describes herself as a folk artist and, in his March 2009 Folk World review of What Are You Singing About, Adolf Goriup wrote that "Lou is a wonderful singer with a soft voice and a great feeling for rhythm, which she proves with the outstanding opening song 'Morning Light'", concluding the write-up with, "Lou Brown has recorded an album that is really worth listening to... I’m sure you’ll like it." The album received airplay on regional UK radio stations such as Wave 105, Original 106 in Southampton and Bristol, Forest FM, BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Radio Gloucestershire, BBC Southern Counties Radio, BBC Somerset and BBC Radio Solent. After years of gigging extensively around the UK, she took the album to America in 2008, playing a series of dates in Chicago and Iowa. Back in the UK, she played support slots for Hazel O'Connor, Paul Young, Boo Hewerdine, Albert Lee, Clive Gregson, and Steve Tilston. Her 29 June 2009 national radio debut on BBC Radio 2's Wake Up to Wogan came about in the aftermath of the Glastonbury Festival appearance. In 2010, her second album, Calm the Rising Waters, produced by Clive Gregson, was released.

Nick Girdler

Nick Girdler is a freelance radio broadcaster who worked for BBC Radio Solent from 1972 until 2006 and again from 2009 until 2019.

Following a short-lived retirement from 2006, on 3 June 2009, Radio Solent announced that he would be returning to the station on 14 June 2009, to host a Sunday morning (9 am to noon) programme.

Girdler presented his last programme on 24 February 2019 having purportedly been given just 10 days’ notice of termination of employment, as a result of changes to the Sunday morning line-up.

Ollie Locke

Oliver Locke (born 20 March 1992) is a British television personality known for appearing in E4 constructed reality series Made in Chelsea. His mother is former BBC Radio Solent DJ Sarah Locke.Locke grew up in Southampton, where he attended Embley Park School, a boarding school in Romsey, Hampshire where he shared a dorm with Game Of Thrones actor Alfie Allen. He moved to Sibford School for 6th Form before leaving to do a year foundation course at The Cambridge School Of Visual and Performing Arts. Locke then moved to Cirencester where he joined a property degree course at the Royal Agricultural College, before leaving after a year and moving to London in 2006 where he worked for an independent magazine in Chelsea.Locke then spent the next five years running nightclubs on the Kings Road and in Mayfair.

Paul Miller (radio presenter)

Paul Rodney Miller (born July 18, 1966) is a radio presenter who resides in Twickenham, London. He currently presents The Paul Miller Show and The Paul Miller Soul Show on BBC Local Radio in the South of England.

Timeline of BBC Local Radio

This is a Timeline of BBC Local Radio

East Midlands
East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
North West
North East and Cumbria
South East
South West and the Channel Islands
West Midlands
Former stations
Related articles
Major stations
Community radio
Student radio
DAB multiplexes


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