Imperial College Radio – on Medium Wave

IC Radio finally passed its official inspection on 30th November 1978 and the full medium wave schedule on 301 metres, 999kHz started at 10am on Saturday 2nd December 1978.

John Roddick on air

The first record played was Crocodile Rock by Elton John, the station’s theme. The crocodile, as an emblem, was with the station from early days after a brain storming session produced the rather dubious outcome that crocodillia is almost an anagram of call IC Radio.

Shortly after starting to broadcast on medium wave Capital Radio decided to interview Jamie Bell, one of the Assistant Station Managers for a Duncan Johnson Saturday afternoon show, where they normally featured hospital radio stations. When you listen to the clip try to work out who is the most professional and seems to have the best grip on what is going on …

On the May Day Bank Holiday in 1979 BBC Radio London decided to run a 48.5 hour marathon programme to raise money. The presenter was David Carter and many people from IC Radio took part as volunteer helpers (which in my cased helped to ease me into professional radio). While IC Radio was not broadcasting we carried this programme (which subsequently featured in the Guinness Book of Records) as a sustaining service.

John Firth in the studio

Beer on cornflakes

Outside Broadcasts continued apace, mostly from Southside Bar, and mostly presented by either Harvey Nadin or Karen. In one programme Harvey attempted (unsuccessfully) to get into the Guinness Book of Records for the number of people that can be packed into a supermarket trolley, needless to say the attempt was unsuccessful.

For the final Sunday before the end of the Summer term in 1979 Harvey decided to do his breakfast programme (hardly early in conventional terms, 8am -11am) as a breakfast party open to all from his room in Keogh Hall in Prince’s Gardens. Lots of people turned up and it was a great success, the highlight of which was the Imperial College Union Deputy President, Malcolm Brain, eating his cornflakes with beer on them rather than milk.