|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Frequency||DAB+: 11A Sound Digital|
|Slogan||We'll Get you Talking!|
Virgin Radio UK
First air date
|21 March 2016|
Talkradio (styled talkRADIO) is a talk radio station broadcasting nationally in the United Kingdom, which was relaunched on 21 March 2016. Based in London and owned by Wireless Group, a subsidiary of News Corp., it is the sister station of national stations Talksport (itself originally known as Talk Radio UK), TalkSport 2, Virgin Radio UK and Times Radio.
The original Talk Radio started in February 1995 using the AM wavelengths previously occupied by BBC Radio 1 (1053/1089 kHz). It saw a number of different presenters host shows in its first two years but settled down to a regular schedule with presenters such as Carol McGiffin, Scott Chisholm, Anna Raeburn, Tommy Boyd and Mike Dickin. It failed to make sufficient revenue and in the late 1990s introduced sports output which increased. In 2000 the station changed its name to Talksport and almost all programming was of a sporting nature other than overnights and the mid-morning show. In March 2012, this 39-hour block of non-sporting content was axed from the station.
The introduction of a new DAB multiplex enabled Talkradio to be relaunched on DAB on 21 March 2016. At launch, the station featured presenters Paul Ross, Julia Hartley-Brewer, Sam Delaney, Jon Holmes, Jonny Gould, and Iain Lee across its weekday schedule. At weekends, the station features Alexis Conran, Eamonn Holmes, Bob Mills, Martin Roberts, Penny Smith, Jerry Springer, Anna Williamson, and Jake Yapp. The station offers news bulletins every hour. News bulletins from Sky News Radio are carried at weekends. Overnight programming was originally simulcast from talkSPORT until January 2018.
In January 2018, Talkradio underwent a revamp to the weekday and weekend schedule in a bid to boost ratings and make the station more news-focused.
In June 2020, Talkradio announced that it would be moving from DAB to DAB+. The DAB+ signal began transmitting on 9 June alongside the DAB signal. The DAB signal ceased transmission on 26 June.
Presenter James Whale was suspended over a 30 July 2018 interview with an alleged sex assault victim that was said by the station to have “completely lacked sensitivity”. He was given a week’s suspension and his show returned soon afterwards, on 13 August. He apologised to the alleged victim.
Broadcasting regulator Ofcom ruled in 2019 that two episodes of former MP George Galloway's show breached impartiality rules due to the lack of dissenting views to Galloway's own on the subjects of Antisemitism in the UK Labour Party and the Salisbury poisoning. In June 2019, Galloway was sacked by the station for a tweet in which he praised Liverpool F.C. for winning the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final instead of Tottenham Hotspur, a team with strong links to the Jewish community; he wrote "No #Israël [sic] flags on the Cup!" Tottenham Hotspur and Jewish organisations condemned Galloway's comment.
In September 2020, presenter Mark Dolan cut up a disposable mask during a Talkradio broadcast, while claiming that wearing masks did not have a significant impact on COVID-19. His action was widely condemned; show host Jamie East quit the radio station in protest of Dolan's actions going unsanctioned by station bosses. Piers Morgan criticised his action on Good Morning Britain and stated, "If we want to save lives [...] we need to get rid of the wretched Mark Dolan because he should not be doing that on his show. talkRADIO should think about people like Mark Dolan doing things like that on air because that will cost lives. People may die because he did that. Is that what you want to be associated with? It’s reckless and stupid."
On 5 January 2021, Talkradio's YouTube channel was briefly terminated without explanation. However within a few hours the station returned to the YouTube platform. In a statement YouTube said "TalkRadio's YouTube channel was briefly suspended, but upon further review, has now been reinstated. We quickly remove flagged content that violate our community guidelines, including Covid-19 content that explicitly contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization. We make exceptions for material posted with an educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purpose, as was deemed in this case."
Sky News Radio provides the national and international news resources for Talk Radio, with news bulletins airing hourly on the hour, every hour.