Radio Slumdog comes to Edinburgh

A RADIO station backed by the company that helped produce the multi-Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, is to take to the airwaves in Edinburgh next month.

The Coast will broadcast a music-based "more tracks, less talk" format aimed at the over-40s for a month on the frequency left vacant by the ill-fated Talk 107 station.

But the move by Celador Radio Broadcasting – part of the Celador group which put 7 million into Slumdog Millionaire – is aimed at convincing the media regulator Ofcom that the group should win the franchise permanently.

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Announcing the temporary licence, Celador founder Paul Smith said: "It is a privilege to be broadcasting in Scotland."

Mr Smith, whose company created the TV quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, added: "My great passion is for radio above all else and we hope that we will soon be able to make a bid to provide a permanent service for Edinburgh."

The bid by Coast, which has a sister station on the south coast of England, is based on a belief that the Talk 107 format of speech radio was wrong for the Edinburgh area.

Talk 107's owner, UTV Radio, shut down the Gyle-based station on Christmas Eve – less than three years after it was set up – after it could not find a buyer for the station, which failed to attract enough listeners to make it commercially viable.

Celador Radio's managing director, Kevin Stewart, yesterday made it clear that the new station would be in competition with Radio 2 and Radio Scotland for listeners in the Edinburgh area.

Taking a swipe at Radio 2's veteran morning star Terry Wogan, Mr Stewart said listeners wanted what his company calls "quality, credible music with no inane speech".

He added: "Listening to Terry Wogan on Radio 2 is rather like listening to my grandad on the radio. We're a real alternative to that."

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Mr Stewart said the company would be setting up two panels of 200 people as part of their research into audience reaction which would "fine tune" the proposed Ofcom bid, which Celador expect to make in June or July.

The full line-up for the trial will be announced in the run-up to the launch date of 23 May but already The Coast has signed up former Forth FM DJ Scott Wilson to present the breakfast show.

Brian Ford, another veteran of Forth and Radio Clyde, will present the drive-time show.

The Coast 107 news – which will take a two-minute slot every hour – will be led by the experienced radio journalist Charles Fletcher, who also will also head up the station.

A spokesman for Ofcom said the regulator could not comment on when it would open up the 107 franchise to bids.

He said Ofcom was awaiting the outcome of the UK government's Digital Britain review before deciding what to do with the Talk 107 licence.


COAST 107 will play "what over-40s have in their CD collection". That means the likes of The Eagles, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Chris de Burgh and Keane. Scottish acts will feature only if they fit the criteria – so Annie Lennox and Simple Minds will make it.