The History of the FRC / Anorak Style Programme on Irish Radio

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Radiowaves.fm
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The History of the FRC / Anorak Style Programme on Irish Radio

Post by Radiowaves.fm »

We return to our FRC history as Ger Roe leaves Radio Dublin to join Radio Annabel.

Ger says: Some of the Radio Dublin DJ’s had shared my frustrations, one being Declan George. Declan presented a Sunday afternoon programme on 253m and he was a fan of the programme. He had a genuine anorak interest and he was a friend to many presenters, in various stations, around Dublin. He called in to studio during one of the last Channel 2 FRC programmes to say that he had been down to the newly-launched Radio Annabel. Annabel had been formed from ABC Radio which was originally established by the staff walkout from Channel 2 that resulted in my demo application. Declan had told them I was close to walking and station managers Mike Doyle and Maurice Kelly told him to let me know that I was welcome at The Ivy Rooms hotel – an offer that I accepted and so the FRC then moved to Radio Annabel on a Sunday afternoon.

The studio facilities in the top floor room at The Ivy Rooms were much better than I was used to at Radio Dublin and I felt much more comfortable doing the programme in a more appreciated and supported environment with a decent AM and FM signal. I did however have to perform a very sad duty shortly after I joined Annabel when I had to produce a tribute item for Declan, who had died in a motorbike traffic accident. (Declan Geoghegan RIP).

To read the history to this point tap here.

Two editions of the FRC Programme on Radio Annabel with Ger presenting have been added to our archives.

The first is from May 20th and can be heard here; the second is from June 10th and that is available here.
Radiowaves.fm
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Re: The History of the FRC / Anorak Style Programme on Irish Radio

Post by Radiowaves.fm »

We have just archived another three editions of the Radio Annabel FRC Programme with Ger Roe.

November 11th 1984 Listen here

December 9th 1984 Listen here

December 16th 1984 Listen here
Radiowaves.fm
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Re: The History of the FRC / Anorak Style Programme on Irish Radio

Post by Radiowaves.fm »

Here's another two editions of the Radio Annabel FRC Programme with Ger Roe.

January 13th 1985 Listen here

February 3rd 1985 Listen here

Both are from the Anoraks Ireland Collection
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Re: The History of the FRC / Anorak Style Programme on Irish Radio

Post by Radiowaves.fm »

Ger Roe on the end of the FRC Show on Radio Annabel:
The Annabel FRC programme continued up until the station closed in1985. Annabel closed one Sunday night with the announced intention of moving studio location to the Ice Rink operating at the old State Cinema building in Phibsboro. The station had an association with Des Kelly (of carpets fame) who owned the building and operated the ice rink. The site had housed the Annabel AM transmitter for the latter stage of station operation.

Originally ‘Eric’, the Sean Day (Murphy) built AM transmitter, had lived in a room beside the studio at The Ivy Rooms where it consisted of an array of mainly home made components (including a large glass sheet spaced tuning capacitor) spread over a large kitchen table. The large home made capacitor was required to match the transmission output stage to the shorter than optimal longwire antenna that stretched from the roof of the building down at a very acute angle to the end of a short back yard. The cramped space resulted in a lot of RF power being reflected back into the building, mainly towards the amplification equipment of bands playing at the music venue in the basement. There were many times on a Sunday evenings when Annabel went off air on AM for ‘technical reasons’ – because the station was coming across the band PA system.

Previously the State Cinema had been the transmission site for Dr. Don’s Channel D pirate TV station in 1981. At a staff meeting held at The Ivy Rooms studio location, shortly before closure, DJs were told that the station was moving to the ice rink where it would have a prominent visual presence and be used as a background music service for the rink sessions. The station closed and staff waited for confirmation of a re-launch date that never came.

To read the history to this point tap here.

An edition of the programme from March 3rd 1985 can be found here.
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Re: The History of the FRC / Anorak Style Programme on Irish Radio

Post by Radiowaves.fm »

Naturally, we’re mainly dealing with the major versions of the FRC type of programme but there were many variations on the theme, particularly over shortwave as it was a natural medium to inform listeners from abroad what was happening on home soil.

Some of the Irish stations using the format were existing medium wave pirates with a shortwave outlet; some were shortwave exclusive; and some simply relayed pre-existing shows from other stations.
An example of the first was Echo Radio, a local Dublin pirate who also broadcast on shortwave. Their version of the show was short-lived, running over a few months from 1981 to 1982.

There were also shortwave exclusive stations with their own version of the programme – one of these falls into both the second and third category and was the place to go on a Sunday morning to hear a relay of whichever was the current prominent FRC Show broadcasting locally in Ireland – starting from the earliest, the Radio Dublin version with Kieran Murray, and these relays lasted right the way through until the legislative pirate closures in 1988. Ran by Prince Terry, Westside Radio International also broadcast its own news updates on Sundays under the moniker ‘DX News’. DX News was a mixture of local updates and information about and logs of shortwave stations from abroad…and all else inbetween.
In January 1985 Eamonn Cooke announced he was quitting the longest running of them all, his (in)famous Sunday afternoon rages against the radio machine under the guise of ‘Station News’. Another presenter was sought but the segment returned with Cooke back at the helm and ran right up to the 2000s. The Station News was a huge draw for shortwave listeners to Radio Dublin’s own broadcasts on the band. News from home was the main attraction but the sense that you’d miss something dramatic if you missed the programme was always on the minds of listeners.
There were stations who concentrated more on the DX side exclusively, particularly the latest news and recordings of stations pulled in from abroad rather than local news. All in all the radio enthusiast was well catered for up to 1985 but things were about to get a whole lot better from 1985 onwards with a mini-explosion of anorak programming running on FM and medium wave…

An example of Westside Radio's DX News with prince Terry can be heard by tapping here.
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