RadioMoments - Conversations / 103: Graham Dene - Presenter, UBN, City, Capital, Virgin, Magic, Smooth, BBC Local

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Episode notes

He rose from being a BBC administration assistant to holding the Capital breakfast show for around ten years in commercial radio’s formative years.

In this hour of ‘Radio Moments – Conversations’, Graham Dene tell of his childhood love of radio and his efforts to creep into the business via a post as an administrator with the BBC. A transfer to the BBC library followed, from which he met the key individuals who would lead to his first on-air job at a factory radio station. He tells of life inside UBN, then a training ground for the country’s first commercial radio stations.

Turned down by Capital, he reveals what life was like on Day One of Radio City in Liverpool – and then of the opportunity to return to London as Capital started to find its feet. Graham, opens up about life at Euston Tower and about the characters with whom he shared those years.

Appointed to the Capital breakfast show to his surprise, he had the honour of hosting it for two five year spells, succeeding Kenny Everett and preceding Chris Tarrant. One avid listener was famously Diana, Princess of Wales, and Graham tells of his encounters with her.

After a spell at Capital Gold, Graham moved to launch the original Virgin Radio 1215 before spending time at Magic and Smooth. He tells here too of his enthusiasm for his recent work at BBC local radio.

In his own words, this is the Graham Dene story.

Hear the whole ‘Radio Moments Conversations’ series here – and sign up for the regular podcast for this ongoing series. Music by Larry Bryant.