Purple Radio (London)

Purple Radio was an internet and British digital radio station for a gay, lesbian and gay-friendly audience. It was available on a DAB multiplex in London and also online. It was the first full-time gay and lesbian radio station and broadcast 24 hours a day, with live broadcasts from a different nightclub every night.

Purple Radio
Broadcast areaWestminster
FrequencyDAB: 11B DRg London
FormatHouse, dance and pop music; gay and lesbian news and entertainment, live club broadcasts
OwnerPurple Radio

Purple Radio was launched in 2001 and merged with Gaydar Radio in 2003.[1]


The station played a mix of dance and mainstream pop music, interspersed with chat and news. Live shows took place during the day, with Programme Controller Pete Flynn (who now runs SFM Radio) presenting the breakfast show at launch.

Purple Radio's unique programming came in the form of close involvement with London's gay and lesbian nightclubs. Early evening programming saw DJs introducing their favourite tracks to listeners in a unique mix of chat and music.

From 10pm each night the station broadcast live from a different nightclub, using ISDN codec including Heaven (nightclub).

The station was based above London's Hanover Grand nightclub, a grand nightspot which was later demolished to make way for a shopping centre just off London's Oxford Street.

Originally broadcast over the internet, the station was one of the first to start broadcasting on British digital radio station a short time after the BBC launched its first digital station[2]

Purple Radio used the tagline "The Digital Soundtrack to Gay Life in London"[1] and also "The World's Fastest Growing Radio Station".


Source: MediaUK

  • The Managing Director was Twysden Moore
  • The Programme Controller was Pete Flynn
  • The Commercial Manager was Tobyn Cleeves
  • The Communications Manager was Colm Howard-Lloyd


Purple Radio, was launched in 2001 with the backing of Kelvin MacKenzie[3] and Lord Waheed Alli,[4] and was a part of a bouquet of services provided by the Digital Radio Group (then part of the GWR Group).

In 2003, to save costs, the station took the decision to merge with Gaydar Radio.[5] Gaydar Radio eventually took the decision not to continue with Purple Radio as a separate output and put in a submission to the Radio Authority to take over Purple's frequency, and gained a DAB outlet on the London 3 Digital multiplex in 2004.

Notable presentersEdit

  • Pete Flynn
  • Cristo Foufas
  • Terry Nunn (presented Terry's Top Tunes)
  • Mark Young (the on-air name of Communications Manager Colm Howard-Lloyd
  • Nicholas Chistostomou (of club Coco Lattee)
  • Simon Hobart (of club Popstarz)
  • Jason McCrossan
  • Steve Power
  • Neil Veglio

Purple in the ParkEdit

To help market the radio station, and to revive the dormant Summer Rites festival, the radio station launched a two-day music festival in 2002.[6]

Acts for the 50,000 capacity festival included Grace Jones and Yoko Ono.


  1. ^ "Purple Radio saved by merger with Gaydar Radio". MediaWeek. 11 December 2002.
  2. ^ "Gay station leads digital push". BBC. 25 January 2002.
  3. ^ "Ex-Sun editor plans gay radio station". The Independent. 9 February 2001.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Lord Alli plans gay radio station for London". Brand Republic. 8 February 2001.
  5. ^ "Purple Radio saved by merger with Gaydar Radio". MediaWeek. 11 December 2002.
  6. ^ "Festival kick-starts gay empire". BBC. 8 May 2002.

Coordinates: 51°30′50″N 0°08′33″W / 51.5138°N 0.1424°W / 51.5138; -0.1424