My wind-up channel is a radio first

Giving listeners more choice, says Steve Penk, is a good thing

By Steve Penk
Posted 16 June 2015, 5.12am edt
Daniel Oines

I am delighted that I am launching The Steve Penk Wind Up Channel on digital radio in Manchester later this summer.

For a 9 month trial period, digital radio listeners in the Manchester area will be able to listen to a brand new, unique radio station featuring Wind Up/Prank phone calls 24/7.

John Evington and David Duffy at NioCast, who submitted the Manchester multiplex bid to Ofcom, approached me to see if I would be interested in joining the bid, and I am delighted to be part of it.

What excites me the most about this, and the main reason I wanted to get involved, is there will be nothing like my channel anywhere else, it's unique, and a radio station with this format and content 24 hours a day, will be a first for any city in the United Kingdom.

The Steve Penk Wind Up Channel will have no music, but will feature my trademark Wind Up Phone Calls, all day, everyday, plus I plan to showcase Prank calls from other broadcasters from around the world, and may also later introduce a daily (speech based) LIVE breakfast show.

I am determined to make the radio station a must listen in the digital age.

Manchester is a hugely competitive market, I couldn't possibly expect to successfully compete if I was simply introducing another music radio station, against the massively resourced radio stations run by the likes of Global and Bauer, but this will be something very different in that market.

Everyone is playing pretty much the same music these days, so I want to offer something completely different for the listener in a market I know very well.

I am delighted to be part of this exciting new Digital Radio development in Manchester, especially as it's where my radio career originally started.

It will offer listeners something new, something very different, and I absolutely believe that giving listeners more choice is a good thing for the future good health of the UK radio industry.

Ofcom, who regulate radio in the UK, have awarded 10 trial licences across the UK. I hope it's a great success and the Wind Up Channel can be heard, in the future, in other cities around the country on digital radio.

Because of my time on Capital Radio in London, and my heritage in that market, I would love to roll out the channel in London and the South East, again simply because the channel will be unlike any other radio station currently broadcasting in that market.

I personally believe the major growth area in UK broadcasting in the next few years will be speech based radio, and the Penky Wind Up Channel very firmly ticks that box.

The next 12 months should be very exciting.

You'll also be able to listen online to the Steve Penk Wind-up Channel. The Steve Penk Music Channel is also available online.

More information

The Steve Penk Wind-Up Channel
Manchester and online
Steve Penk — Manchester-born Steve Penk has worked for national and local radio stations, and is renowned for his wind-up calls. He started his career in Manchester in 1978.


6 years, 9 months ago

Are you going to be playing 78s on the wind-up channel?

If so please contact my colleagues "It's a Wind-up" who also are based in Manchester

6 years, 9 months ago

Well, this radio station is NOT a must-listen for me because it's everything he'd done in the 80s. Haven't you got any new ideas, Steve?

For me, the future of radio includes music and does not include DJs who, as per a lot of BBC and commercial stations, love to witter on so much that they love the sound of their own voice more than the music. My pet hate are those who chatter over the ends of songs with definitive endings. Completely kills the atmosphere.

6 years, 9 months ago

While Penky's wind-up's are not exactly my first choice for listening. Isn't this type of format exactly what DAB should be providing?

The future of radio is a cross-platform way of listening to mainstream and not so mainstream formats which include dated wind-ups.

6 years, 9 months ago

There is hope for kipper the cat in this brave new millenium yet...

6 years, 9 months ago

Martin Philip;

While Penky's wind-up's are not exactly my first choice for listening. Isn't this type of format exactly what DAB should be providing?

You mean someone's vanity project? No. Different types of music, rolling news, more live sport, YES, definitely, but old wind-ups?????????? As Rimmer said in Red Dwarf, "Wrong wrong wrong, absolutely brimming over with wrong-ability."

6 years, 9 months ago

Dom, I disagree completely.
If you want music, you play music. If you don't have some recorded, there are music streaming services enough, let alone lots and lots and lots and lots of lots and lots' lots of lotting lotty lots of radiostations that don't do much apart playing music.
For one, I prefer speech, news, local events, special programming (music included - like Country)...

6 years, 9 months ago

I hope you'll excuse my vanity project which is also on the Manchester multiplex ;)

6 years, 9 months ago

So when is somebody going to set up a 24/7 James Bond theme tune station?

6 years, 9 months ago

As Q said in "Tomorrow Never Dies", Grow up 007.

6 years, 9 months ago

It's certainly going to be unique, but will it get listeners? Even if you like wind ups, surely you've had enough after one or two? I could maybe see this working with one wind up per hour with music the rest of the time, but not back to back wind ups.

6 years, 9 months ago

Say, there's this "AudioBook" radio. I definitely tried... I can't get it and lost any supposed interest soon.
Any dinner has to have an appetiser, some soup, main course, the dessert, coffee/brandy perhaps, later cigars;) But not all ice-cream altogether. Non-stop anything gets boring - non-stop music is no way an exception.

6 years, 8 months ago

How many wind-ups do you hear on the radio these days? None. It's a dead art-form.

6 years, 8 months ago

Dom, not sure it's dead. It's been done well, it's been done badly... it's been done tastefully... and appallingly. I know I wont be listening to a station that is based around wind up calls. But we'll see how it goes for Mr Penk... wish him well... but I think this is a poor business decision.

6 years, 8 months ago

Just listened for a bit... quite nice, well put together ... but wont be able to listen to it for much time. It's a desert all you can eat buffet of wind up calls.

6 years, 8 months ago

Simon, be honest here.

How many other radio presenters in the UK, other than Steve Penk, are doing this today?

The answer is none. Nobody does wind-ups anymore, Steve Penk is the only one keeping it alive.

To be honest, he should let go of it, and move on. A man of his talent should be doing far more than this.

6 years, 8 months ago

No one is doing it since the Royal Baby farago.
Steve is doing a radio station playing his favorite hits (to be fair from what I hear it's not just HIS wind up calls).
But wind up calls are ONE thing that a radio presenter could do... in hundreds of thousands of possible entertaining links. Although many (not all) are doing very bland Brand.. time... coming up next... brand again if it's a RAJAR period... links.
Just 'cos no one is doing it doesn't mean no one SHOULD do it if they CAN do it well... surely?

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