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Heart Four Counties is a local radio station owned and operated by Global Radio as part of the Heart network. It broadcasts to Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire. The station launched on Friday 16 July 2010 as a result of a merger between Heart Milton Keynes (formerly Horizon Radio), Heart Northants (formerly Northants 96), Heart Dunstable (formerly 97.6 Chiltern FM) and Heart Bedford (formerly 96.9 Chiltern Radio).

Heart Four Counties
The Heart Network logo.svg
Broadcast areaBedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Northamptonshire
BrandingThis is Heart
SloganTurn up the Feel Good!
Frequency96.6, 96.9, 97.6, 103.3 MHz & DAB
RDS: Heart___
FormatAdult Contemporary
OwnerGlobal Group
WebsiteHeart Four Counties



The regional station originally broadcast as four separate stations - Chiltern Radio began broadcasting to Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire in October 1981 and launched a separate Bedford station in June 1982. Northants 96 began broadcasting to Northamptonshire in November 1986 and Horizon Radio launched in north Buckinghamshire in October 1989.

These stations were owned and operated by the Chiltern Radio Group, which was sold off to the GWR Group in 1995. Subsequently, the GWR Group merged with Capital Radio in 2005 to form GCap Media, which was subsequently bought out by Global Radio in 2008.

On 21 June 2010, Global Radio announced it would merge the four stations as part of plans to reduce the Heart network of stations from 33 separate stations to 16 co-located 'broadcast centres'.[1] The new station began broadcasting from Dunstable on Friday 16 July 2010 and moved to new studios in Milton Keynes on 6 September 2011.[2]

Station mergerEdit

On 26 February 2019, Global announced Heart Four Counties will be merged with three sister stations in Cambridgeshire, Essex and East Anglia.[3]

From 3 June 2019, local output will consist of a three-hour regional Drivetime show on weekdays, alongside localised news bulletins, traffic updates and advertising.[4] Local breakfast and weekend shows will be replaced with network programming from London.


Local programming is produced and broadcast from Heart's Milton Keynes studios from 6-10am and 4-7pm on weekdays, 6-10am on Saturdays and 12pm-4pm on Sundays. All networked programming originates from Global Radio's London headquarters, including the syndicated Vodafone Big Top 40 on Sunday afternoons.

The station's local presenters include Ivan Berry and Emma Nicolet (Heart Breakfast), Gareth Wesley (Heart Drivetime and Saturday breakfast) and Kim Shaw (Sunday Afternoons).

Former presentersEdit


Heart Four Counties broadcasts hourly regional news bulletins from 6am-7pm on weekdays and 6am-12pm at weekends. The Milton Keynes newsroom also produces bulletins for the independently-owned Heart Hertfordshire.[7]

National news updates air hourly from Global's London headquarters at all other times.


  1. ^ Global Radio to halve number of local Heart stations,, 21 June 2010 Archived 1 January 2011 at WebCite
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link), RadioToday, 6 September 2011
  3. ^ Global to network Capital, Heart and Smooth breakfast shows, RadioToday, 26 February 2019
  4. ^ Amanda Holden to join Jamie Theakston for Heart UK Breakfast, Radio Today, 29 April 2019
  5. ^ "Two former Blue Peter presenters to host breakfast show for Heart FM in Northamptonshire". Northampton Chronicle. 13 January 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Two former Blue Peter presenters to host breakfast show for Heart FM in Northamptonshire". Northampton Chronicle. 13 January 2015. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
  7. ^ Heart Dunstable public file

External linksEdit