Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio is asking listeners for their memories ahead of its 50th anniversary

The radio station is collating memories and telling all through a unique book titled ‘For the Record - Piccadilly Radio’s 50th Anniversary’.

By Emma Davidson | November 29th '22

Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio celebrates its 50th anniversary in April 2024, and listeners are being invited to share their own memories of an institution that became a popular mixed news and entertainment radio station in the country, listened to and loved by millions of people.

‘For the Record – Piccadilly Radio’s 50th Anniversary’, scheduled for publication next year, will be a unique book about the show’s mammoth journey. Written by Piccadilly old boys Tony Ingham and Brian Beech, it’s the story of the people who made it happen.  

Phil Wood OB Bolton TH Square; Mike Sweeny

The book explores the presenters, journalists, producers, engineers and, most importantly, the listeners that, for many, Piccadilly Radio became the soundtrack to their lives. Its iconic 261 logo and jingles quickly became part of the fabric of everyday life in the North West of England.

“For the listener, Piccadilly Radio was their music and their friend,” commented Ingham.  “Mention it to anyone of a certain age and immediately they are back under the bedclothes with Dave Ward or remembering ‘It’s a Goal!’ or ‘Oh no!’ Nobody did it better.

“We’ve got lots of stories from colleagues who worked there, but a major reason that Piccadilly was so successful was that it broadcast to the most responsive and the very best of audiences. We want to hear what Piccadilly Radio meant to them.”

The station spawned the careers of national personalities such as Chris Evans, Timmy Mallett, Gary Davies, Mark Radcliffe, Andy Crane, Steve Penk and Andy Peebles, plus a host of journalists, TV and film producers, as well as businessmen and women and entrepreneurs.

At the same time, it nurtured hugely popular local personalities including Susie Mathis, Phil Wood, Dave Ward, Mike Shaft, Pete Baker, James Stannage, Tim Grundy, Becky Want and Mike Sweeney. They became part of listeners’ daily lives.

If you have a story from the Piccadilly Radio days, you can email piccadillyat50@gmail.com.  

As Chris Evans once said, “Piccadilly Radio knew exactly who it was and what it was about.  It was a new voice for a new generation. It was about the Northwest and everyone who lived there.”