Union Jack launches - UK's first fully-interactive national radio station

By James Cridland for
Posted 9 September 2016, 2.41am edt

A new national radio station launches today on DAB Digital Radio, online and in the Radioplayer.

Union JACK, a new station from the makers of JACK fm and JACK 2 in Oxford, promises to play nothing but British music, and (like JACK 2) uses Futuri Media's Listener Driven Radio to let listeners choose the music.

The station is non-stop music, with the UK voice of JACK, Paul Darrow. The press release, below, claims that the station has the "most extensive playlist ever in UK radio", and also promises "no irritating Radio Deejays".

It'll be available on DAB+ using the remaining 24kbps signal on the second national commercial multiplex. The station also has its own app on iOS and Android, and is available within the Radioplayer.

This is the latest expansion for the JACK fm brand. Last year the station launched both JACKfm and JACK 2 in Surrey and Portsmouth on DAB.

Press release


AVAILABLE RIGHT ACROSS UK ON DAB+ and online plus via Radio Player & the new Union JACK app

  • Station celebrates pioneering British music and fresh, new homegrown talent
  • Spans the last six decades, from the birth of rock ‘n’ roll and punk, classic rock, to heavy metal, Britpop to indie alternative and beyond
  • An interactive new radio station where listeners get to choose tracks via the most extensive playlist ever in UK radio
  • Created by the team who brought JACK FM to the UK and created Absolute Radio & Absolute 80s
  • Paul Darrow ex Blakes7 & JACK Oxford to be the voice of Union JACK
  • No irritating Radio Deejays and less interruptions, just great British music 24 hours a day

Oxford, Friday 9 Sept: The team who created Absolute Radio and brought JACK FM to the UK announce that Union JACK, a brand new national radio station celebrating pioneering British artists and supporting new homegrown British talent, will launch nationally today at 11am. Union JACK is a fully interactive national DAB+ station, available to stream live at, via RadioPlayer and the Union JACK app.

Union JACK will dedicate its mission to play, promote and entertain the nation with a broad and distinctive mix of British music. For the past six decades, Britain has been at the forefront of era defining music. From The Beatles to Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones to Coldplay, The Who to The Stone Roses, Oasis to April Towers, Union JACK will explore six decades of pioneering homegrown music as well as new artists.

The new radio station features the most extensive playlist of music on national commercial radio. Listeners can choose what they’d like to hear from thousands of songs via the station’s unique new app. The tracks are pushed up and down the playlist, leaving total control of the stations output in the hands of Union JACK’s new audience.

Donnach O’Driscoll, co-CEO of Union JACK, said: “We have conducted a huge amount of research and the feedback confirmed that there is a massive gap in the radio market for a new national station which promotes the very of best British music.”

Ian Walker, co-CEO of Union JACK, said: “Britain has been at the forefront of groundbreaking music for over six decades. Union JACK will lead the way in celebrating this rich heritage, playing the greatest UK music and also discovering and supporting British new talent.”

Clive Dickens Co-Founder of Union JACK, said: “UK commercial national radio is over dominated by three companies and it’s time for a complete shake up. Our team has already created two of the most successful radio brands in the last ten years and we know all great things come along in three’s!”

Union JACK is the national arm of JACK FM and JACK 2 Oxford, the most awarded local radio brand in UK radio history. It is the brainchild of the team who created Absolute Radio, Absolute 80s and brought the JACK brand to the UK.

Union JACK is available to stream from 11am today at, Radio Player, the new Union JACK app and right across the UK on DAB+

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.