BBC Radio 5Live Celebrates 30th Birthday

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Today marks 30 years of BBC Radio 5Live, the sports and news talk station. It’s the sibling of Radio 4 that’s really into football.

I’ve written before that the station often accompanies me for large parts of the weekend – from “Fighting Talk” in the morning (not the same without Colin Murray,) to the football commentaries and “6-0-6” in the evening. It also serves as my morning alarm. In an era of BBC cuts and reshuffles, this station moving from AM into the digital era is quite some achievement.

When I think of Radio 5Live there is one moment in particular that stands out. And, surprisingly, it doesn’t involve football. It’s the 2003 Rugby World Cup final and Ian Robertson is on commentary duty. I’m sneakily listening to the radio as I’m at a school play rehearsal. Seconds left. “This is the one, it’s coming back for Jonny Wilkinson… He drops for World Cup glory…” It’s an iconic line, but if you listen you actually realise it’s over before Robertson shouts “HE’S DONE IT. You can hear the scream in the crowd.

I can still picture sitting in the school hall listening to it. The power of radio.

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