talkRADIO announce launch date and presenters

By James Cridland for
Posted 8 February 2016, 5.43am est


talkRADIO, the new digital radio station from UTV, is launching on March 21st, it's announced today.

It's signed up a number of presenters, including Iain Lee, George Galloway and Julia Hartley-Brewer. Breakfast will be done by Paul Ross.

talkSPORT2, talkRADIO and Virgin Radio also unveiled their Twitter accounts this morning. Find them in our directory.

The original Talk Radio UK was rebranded talkSPORT by the company that's now bringing back Talk Radio. It's also bringing back Virgin Radio, which was rebranded by someone else. Nurse? More headache pills?

Press release

Set to shake-up the speech radio category with some bold characters and content, the weekday line-up will feature Paul Ross, Sam Delaney, Julia Hartley-Brewer, Iain Lee and George Galloway, who will be on-air to tackle the topics everyone’s talking about with intelligence, wit and humour. From celebrity culture to the big issues in politics, the station will be strongly personality-led and will feature magazine-style shows from a wide range of topics.

The Breakfast Show (weekdays, 6am – 10am) will be hosted by broadcaster and journalist Paul Ross. His presenting credits include The Big Breakfast, The Paul Ross Show and Most Haunted, with regular contributions to numerous popular shows, from This Morning to The Alan Titchmarsh Show. His incredible brain has seen him win celebrity versions of shows such as Mastermind and The Weakest Link and, when it comes to radio, he’s a veteran, having hosted shows on GLR, LBC and Virgin Radio.

Intelligent and politically astute, Julia Hartley-Brewer is primed for mid-morning (weekdays, 10am – 1pm). A regular on Question Time and Have I Got News For You, Julia has also hosted LBC’s afternoon show and regularly appears on BBC Radio 4. Her journalistic credits span the national media, with a former role as Political Editor for the Sunday Express, and regular columns currently in both The Daily Telegraph and The Independent.

Fast-talking author and broadcaster Sam Delaney has been entertaining talkSPORT listeners as a guest presenter on the station, making him a shoo-in for the sought after talkRADIO Drivetime slot (weekdays, 4-7pm). A former Editor of both Heat magazine and Comedy Central UK, Delaney writes for a wealth of national newspapers and magazines and regularly appears on television across the spectrum.

The launch of talkRADIO sees Iain Lee make a triumphant return to late night radio, presenting from 10pm-1am. Well accustomed to bringing some fun and risqué content to the airwaves, Iain is a broadcaster with a wealth of radio experience, having hosted on XFM, LBC, Absolute and BBC Radio 4. His previous TV credits also include The 11 O’Clock Show on Channel 4 and RI:SE.

Friday nights will never be the same again as George Galloway returns to the mic (Fridays, 7-10pm), bringing with him his trademark flair. Politician, broadcaster and writer, George – who will be restricted from broadcasting for the first six weeks of talkRADIO due to his London mayoral election campaign – is an excellent orator and will be tackling the big topics of politics every week with The Mother of all Talk Shows.

Paul Ross, presenter of talkRADIO’s Breakfast Show, said: “talkRADIO is going to bring something new and fresh to the world of digital radio, and I can’t wait to get into the studio and start talking to our listeners every morning.”

Liam Fisher, National Radio Controller for UTV Media, said: “talkRADIO will give listeners something completely different from morning until night with presenters and content guaranteed to get you talking. Our work is still not done, with more fantastic presenters to be announced later this month.”

More information

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.


5 years, 3 months ago

For those of us who thought talkRADIO couldn't get any worse .... it just did.

5 years, 3 months ago

It sounds male-skewed, which I'm surprised about considering they already have Talksport and Virgin. It's a strong selection of proven talk radio presenters, though.

5 years, 3 months ago

I am very concerned to hear that George Galloway is to be a presenter. This does nothing but provide him with a national platform for a torrent of pervasive and partisan anti-Israel invective with plenty of opportunity for anti-Jewish guests to support his continual torrent of anti-Israel abuse. This man cannot be trusted given that almost a year after the general election he STILL styles himself as an MP on Facebook in order to obfuscate his actual status as he begs funds from his middle east supporters for his mayoral campaign.

Presenters are meant to be objective and see both sides. This man will not be.

5 years, 2 months ago

Well, the good thing is that George Galloway isn't going to be on from launch as he is engaged in the London Mayoral Election, against Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan and others.

Having heard him before, and seen him on TV shows, I think he is the closest thing we've got to a Bill O'Reilly. In other words somebody who believes all their own publicity, says what he truly thinks, even if it changes from time to time as BillO's often do, and has an ego bigger than the Empire State Building. In other words, his contribution to TalkRadio is probably going to have higher comedy value than any other kind of value.

Paul Ross is okay, Julia Hartley-Brewer isn't much of muchness, Sam Delaney is someone I could happily live without, the only person who feels like he actually adds something right now is Iain Lee, I'm actually curious to listen to his show and see what comes out.

Unfortunately we don't know the rest of the schedule yet, and I'm especially curious about what they will do at the weekends. I'd imagine they'd want to avoid treading on TalkSport's shoes by talking sport at all, and yet it's difficult to imagine just what else they could put on, on a Saturday afternoon.

5 years, 2 months ago

Galloway and Delaney present shows on RT UK, which gives talkRADIO at least two left-leaning presenters.

Considering LBC have Nigel Farage for a regular phone-in slot with his extreme views on immigration, I don't see why George Galloway once the election ends can have his pro-Palestine/anti Israel stance on radio. One thing you can't dispute about George is that he's an excellent phone-in radio host, which has been missed since he left talkSPORT.

Iain Lee will be the interesting one. Will he go down his stablemate LBC/Absolute format of freeform radio by letting kids shout inane sayings down the phone and pub chat for comedic effect or his more recent BBC local radio persona where he's less controversial, but still discusses topical subjects in a more accesiable way?

JHB will bring an alternative to LBC's left wing presenter James O'Brien in the same slot, while Paul Ross, is just Paul Ross, a solid speech presenter. Nick Ferrari will have nothing to be concerned about.

5 years, 2 months ago

Galloway is on RT International, or as they call it now RT News, Sputnik is the name of his show there, plus he still has a show on Press TV, called Comment, which you can see online and replay on YouTube.

An excellent phone-in host? I don't know what shows you were listening to. The guy is an egomaniac, the worst possible kind of host for a radio phone in. I never thought he was any good, the same way I think Rush Limbaugh is a terrible phone in host.

As for Nick Ferrari having anything to be concerned about, well I don't know about that. LBC isn't exactly the mecca of talk radio, it's just at the moment the only version of commercial news talk radio right now, with TalkSport being the only commercial sports talk station. Yes, Talk Radio is not going to be on FM anywhere, and in about 25% of the country, they won't even be available on a DAB radio, which doesn't help, but if Talk Radio can actually make commercial talk radio interesting instead of mostly boring, then LBC would be in trouble.

5 years, 2 months ago

Ian, don't let your political leanings judge how Galloway or Limbaugh present their shows. You don't like their politics, yet they bring in the listeners and are entertaining to most people and as important, provoke people to contribute to their shows.

talkRADIO will show one way or another if British non-sports commercial phone-in radio can be a viable product with only a DAB and internet radio platform to broadcast on.

LBC has over 40 years of heritage in London at least, while talkRADIO despite their short lived time as a national AM station will be starting from scratch.

5 years, 2 months ago

George Galloway can book a hall anywhere in the heartlands of the SNP in Scotland and speak to a packed audience. He may be egotistic to some of his foe, but he is undeniably an excellent communicator with a bit of charisma!
I would have slotted his programme as a late night date from 10pm to 1am. A bit like the Andrew Neil 'This Week' programme on tv with late night political chat, viewed wth tea & biscuits while the rest of the family are heading for bed!

5 years, 2 months ago

Martin Philip - I wouldn't say Nigel Farage has extreme views at all, what he does have is common sense views which are very popular with the general British public. Moving on.......

It's an interesting concept although nothing stands out as been very different from LBC it just doesn't excite me one bit. LBC has become very dull in the last 12 months and I firmly believe it does need some competition. But, this station using ex-LBC presenters and still a total lack of diverse presenters will make this another snooze sesh radio station similar to LBC's line up from 10am-10pm weekdays.

5 years, 2 months ago

I wouldn't say Nigel Farage has extreme views at all, what he does have is common sense views which are very popular with the general British public.

It shows he has charmisa and is able to broadcast those opinions eloquently, but UKIP don't represent the general British public of which the vast majority didn't vote for the party in the last general election.

It's an interesting concept although nothing stands out as been very different from LBC it just doesn't excite me one bit. LBC has become very dull in the last 12 months and I firmly believe it does need some competition. But, this station using ex-LBC presenters and still a total lack of diverse presenters will make this another snooze sesh radio station similar to LBC's line up from 10am-10pm weekdays.

Paul Ross didn't work for LBC during it's current newstalk phase, nor did Iain Lee. If anything, Ross and Sam Delaney will be the polar opposite to what LBC are doing at breakfast and drive. While Iain Lee should be offering an alternative to both Ian Collins on LBC and Duncan Barkes on BBC Radio London.

I'm sure talkRADIO will adapt if the format isn't working, but I think it'll be a hybrid of what LBC does currently with topical discussion and the light chat format on LBC introduced by David Lloyd in the noughties.

5 years, 2 months ago

Martin Philip; my judgement on them isn't about their political views, it's about their presentation. As long as they communicate relatively well, the people who will get the most listeners are the extremists, whose sole purpose is to shock you and make you believe them, which is a lot easier if you don't trust politics or the government in the first place. Rush Limbaugh and George Galloway, along with any number of other talk radio hosts like Nick Ferrari of LBC and Sean Hannity of Fox News and Alan Jones of 2GB, all these guys really do is use their own ego, which in all these cases is pretty massive, say shocking things, shocking enough to not make people question them, and they get the ratings. That doesn't make it great radio, nor does it make it conducive to aiding political discourse. This sort of show really needs a "warning" of some kind before it, along the lines of "the viewpoints expressed are those of the contributors and host of the show, and are not necessarily accurate or sensible. Listener discretion is advised." and needs to be repeated at the end of every ad break and after the news at the top of each hour.

It's not the viewpoints they espouse, which in the case of the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity don't necessarily reflect what they actually think, it's the fact they are so full of themselves, so in love with their own voice, so overpowering on the air, that it makes them, in my view, really bad phone-in hosts. A phone-in host should be there to help facilitate the callers, who are the real stars. With these shows, the callers are mostly there to feed the host's ego, nothing more.

5 years, 2 months ago

"George Galloway can book a hall anywhere in the heartlands of the SNP in Scotland and speak to a packed audience."

That would be almost the whole of Scotland, save for a pokey wee bit that joins England, the same bit where fox hunting is still carried out by some English lad-de-da toffs who come up from South of the Border, who think they can do anything against the law because they are rich and everybody else is beneath them.

I don't agree with Robin's politics most of the time but I can listen to him for his eloquence, in the same way that I was often mesmerised by Anna Raeburn on the original Talk Radio.

How come I don't see Tommy Boyd on the schedule?

"I wouldn't say Nigel Farage has extreme views at all, what he does have is common sense views which are very popular with the general British public."

You need to replace the word British with English - because he and his trampy little party have very little support in Scotland, unless of course you want to apply the same rule of association all round, in which case Scottish athletes are not Scottish but BRITISH when the lose, as they seem to be absolutely BRITISH when they win.

5 years, 2 months ago

(Off Topic) Art Grainger: The real heartlands of the SNP is where the independence YES vote was strongest in Scotland, in areas including Dundee, Glasgow and Lanarkshire.
I honestly believe the majority of the Scottish nation would prefer home rule akin to the old Irish Free State, rather than full independence and be a standalone commonwealth country like Australia and Canada!
People up here can be bitter of the recent past, but what is forgotten about is Devo Max was the initiative of the SNP, not David Cameron, nor Ed Milliband!

Take it from me who was a Yes voter on referendum day, there was more ''faintheart'' than ''braveheart'' with people too easily frightened of uncertainty!!

5 years, 1 month ago

Bear in mind, all the talk jockeys above will have an OFCOM set of rules to cope with. Something Bill O Reilly and Sean Hannity have yet to experience.

I'll take the Sunday mid afternoon slot . Ideal for a hard hitting travel, holiday safety and aviation security based package. Even better if the BREXITS win and the Republic stays within the EU. How is that going to work?

Now just need to find that Liam Fisher?

Ireland you say? Couple of pints of Beamish. Contract scrawled on the back of a beermat, Dig out my award winning series of lectures surrounding RMS TITANIC. Thinking of which, I know a nice pub in Cobh (Queenstown). The Titanics' very last Port of Call. Oh Liam, I already have an ISDN Studio, just dial up ... 01733 345020 miles better quality than VoIP anyday.

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