Belfast Telegraph

Happy birthday - BBC Radio 5 Live hits 20

By Steven Beacom

Some said it wouldn't last, but tomorrow Radio 5 Live celebrates its 20th birthday.

This is the station that brought us the brilliant Danny Baker presenting the football fan phone-in show 6-0-6, it furthered the fine career of Belfast boy turned tell-it-how-it-is commentator Alan Green and gave us the impassioned cry of Ian Robertson when Jonny Wilkinson "kicked England to World Cup glory".

There was also David Mellor, but we'll gloss over that. It is their birthday!

I can't imagine too many of you don't listen to the radio at some stage every day, be it for news, weather, traffic reports, sport or just in the hope that you'll hear a song you adore blast out when you're driving. Isn't it great when that happens? Simple pleasures, eh?

The excellent Peter Allen's another one. Listen to him on 5 Live's drive time show and you'll see what I mean.

For a long period the BBC had the 24-hour news and sports market largely to itself, but now there's a new kid on the block, who is growing up fast, commercial station Talksport.

It's an edgier product (think John McEnroe coming on the scene to take on Bjorn Borg), with presenters ranging from ex-footballer Alan Brazil to our own Colin Murray, which is trying to make serious inroads into 5 Live's audience.

It'll be interesting to see who comes out on top in the next 20 years.

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