BBC Sussex is the BBC Local Radio service for the English county of Sussex. It began on 14 February 1968 as BBC Radio Brighton, later becoming BBC Radio Sussex and then part of BBC Southern Counties Radio, before adopting its present name on 30 March 2009. BBC journalists Jeremy Paxman, Kate Adie and Des Lynam started their careers at BBC Brighton.
|Frequency||104.5, 104.8 & 95.0–95.3 FM|
DAB: NOW Sussex Coast
|First air date||14 February 1968 (as BBC Radio Brighton)|
|Format||Local news, talk and music|
|Owner||BBC Local Radio,|
BBC South East
BBC Sussex runs its own programming specifically for Sussex from its studios in Brighton on weekdays from 6 am to 9 am and from 5 pm to 6 pm, and on Saturdays from 6 am to 9 am and from 2 pm to 6 pm. There are also dedicated news bulletins for Sussex on the hour at some times of the day. The remainder of the station's daytime output is shared with BBC Surrey. It is part of the BBC South East region, based in Tunbridge Wells.
BBC Sussex cover every Brighton and Hove Albion and Crawley Town game live. On Saturdays, BBC Sussex Sport starts at 2 pm, presented by Johnny Cantor from wherever Brighton are playing. This show contains interviews and features on all sports from within the county. The frequencies then split shortly before kick off, with Brighton's match on DAB, 95.0, 95.3 and 104.5 FM, and Crawley on the remaining frequencies.
When non-traditional kick off times occur, the main presenter for the club in question presents a BBC Sussex sports special on midweek evenings.
The station's Sussex presenters are Neil Pringle (weekday breakfast) and Mark Carter (Saturday breakfast). Weekday programmes for both Surrey and Sussex are presented by Danny Pike (mornings), Allison Ferns (afternoons) and Sarah Gorrell (drivetime).
BBC Radio Brighton (1968-1983)Edit
BBC Radio Brighton was one of the first wave of BBC Local Radio stations which took to the air during the late 1960s. Broadcasting from Marlborough Place, it officially opened on 14 February 1968, though a short-lived emergency service had been broadcast during the blizzards earlier that winter. Originally broadcast on 88.1 MHz VHF only, the station later acquired a medium wave frequency of 202m, and transferred to 95.3 MHz on VHF. The transmission area was initially restricted to little more than the immediate Brighton and Hove conurbation, with the surrounding suburbs. However, coverage was extended to include Worthing in the late 1970s.
In common with much of the BBC's early local radio output, Radio Brighton broadcast only for limited daytime hours in its early years, relying on Radio 2 and Radio 4 for a sustaining service, but building to a full daytime service by the mid-1970s. In the early years, the emphasis was on structured programmes rather than the open-ended magazine shows which have since become more common. The flagship was the breakfast news programme 'Coastwise'.
BBC Radio Sussex (1983-1994)Edit
On 22 October 1983, as part of the BBC's move to extend its local radio network across the UK, the station expanded further to include the entire county. As a result, the 'Radio Brighton' name was dropped in favour of the more accurate BBC Radio Sussex.
BBC Southern Counties Radio (1994-2009)Edit
In 1994 BBC Radio Sussex merged with a later arrival, BBC Radio Surrey, to form BBC Southern Counties Radio. At first it ran a single all-talk schedule across Sussex and Surrey. However, in September 1997 two dedicated breakfast shows, one for Brighton and Hove on the old 95.3 frequency, and another for the remainder of Sussex, were introduced. The separate breakfast show for Brighton was discontinued in April 2006.
BBC Sussex (2009-present)Edit
In March 2009 the county name returned to the radio station name when BBC Sussex became the new name for BBC Southern Counties Radio across Sussex. BBC Sussex and its sister station BBC Surrey continue effectively to operate as one station, with no change in management or infrastructure from its predecessor.
Networked and simulcast programmingEdit
During off-peak hours, BBC Sussex also carries regional programming for the South and South East regions, produced from sister stations BBC Radio Solent and BBC Radio Kent. During the station's downtime, BBC Sussex simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live overnight.