BBC RL50

BBC RL50

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The 50th Anniversary of BBC Radio Leicester is on 8th November 2017.

This unofficial blog aims to tell the story of Britain's first UK mainland local radio station, and to celebrate its achievements with the help of former staff, their families and our listeners.

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The Mk 3 Desk

GalleryPosted by Stephen Butt Mon, November 21, 2016 07:52:14
The technical equipment in a radio station is often overlooked - except by engineers - unless it goes wrong. A major leap forward for BBC Radio Leicester was the upgrade to the Mark III configuration. It was a big change from the Mk 1 Peto-Scott desks which had served the station since 1967. It also heralded the gradual move from mono to stereo across the BBC Local Radio network.

In my opinion, Radio Leicester was lucky to have avoided the BBC Mark 2 desk which I operated occasionally at BBC Radio Bristol. I found the methods of selecting channels to groups (A-B,1-2) confusing. I never really worked out what 'clean feed' I was sending - or to whom!

Because the Mk III desks were designed by people who worked on BBC stations and knew what presenters and technical operators needed, and was built in the BBC's own Equipment Centre at Avenue House in Chiswick, it was a robust and easy-to-use desk which also had great flexibility of function.


I am not sure who took this image. It is of myself pretending I knew how to use the desk, and it is in the upgraded Studio 1 at Epic House, clearly sometime after we had begun logging broadcast music using barcode readers.



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Posted by Stephen Butt Tue, March 21, 2017 11:57:01

Good to hear from you, Brian. Keep in touch. My first encounter with Mk3 was actually at Radio Nottingham - driving on OB - and without any prior training!

Posted by Brian Shuttlewood Tue, March 21, 2017 09:22:06

I was the second person to use this desk with a live transmission of the Brian Shuttlewood Music Programme at 8.45am on the day it officially went into service. With only a couple of hours of practice it was a daunting experience but everything went well.