Radio Aire 1981 - 1984
Radio Aire began broadcasting at 6am on 1st September 1981 and was the
first Independent Local Radio station to have studios purposely built for radio
transmission, situated on Burley Road in Leeds. It started out on 362m Medium
Wave (828kHz) & 94.6 VHF and aimed to entertain people from all age groups.
The station was launched by presenter Graham Thornton and
the first song played was 'Pilot of the Airwaves' by Charlie Dore.
The original line-up from 1981 was Graham Thornton, Eric Smith,
Alex Lester, Barrie Redfern and Martin Kelner.
Weekend & extra presenters included Mike Hurley, Bob Preedy, John Brown,
Mike Alexander, Dave Silver, Dave Burland and Maggie Mash.
Audio from 1981
The line-up from 1983 was Ross Dickinson, Eric Smith, Peter Levy,
Martin Kelner, Alex Lester, and James Whale (all featured below).
Weekend & extra presenters included Dave Burland, Andy Kershaw,
John Brown, Mike Hurley, Dave Silver, Bob Preedy and Maggie Mash.
Christa Ackroyd was promoted to Programme Controller of Radio Aire in 1987, also
presenting some weekend shows and the Radio Aire Reports news programme.
She left the station in 1990 to join Yorkshire Television (now ITV Yorkshire), where
she was co-presenter of Calendar News with Richard Whiteley, then later Mike Morris.
By 2001, Christa moved on to be the co-presenter of BBC Look North, with Harry Gration.
Chris Kiddey later moved to Yorkshire Television, where he is
currently part of the ITV Calendar News team.
Mark Mardell later moved to Independent Radio News in London, then in
1989 he joined the BBC as political correspondent for the Six O'Clock News.
From 1992 to 2000 he was political editor for BBC Newsnight and by 2003, he
was chief political correspondent for the BBC Ten O'Clock News. In 2005,
Mark became BBC Europe editor and is currently BBC North American editor.
Other members of the News Team during the 1980's were Clive Settle, John Shires,
Dee Marshall, Jill Hopkins, Helen Boaden and David Robertson.