Bauer Media has today announced the line-up and guest hosts for its new dedicated LGBTQ+ pop-up station Hits Radio Pride, launched in partnership with The Co-operative Bank. In addition to its regular programming with shows from hosts Fleur East, Jordan Lee, James Barr, Stephanie Hirst and Charlie Powell, Hits Radio Pride will air special shows from guest hosts including Years & Years’ Olly Alexander, Mel C, Anne-Marie, Jess Glynne, MNEK, Sigala, Regard, Ella Henderson and Gok Wan. The diverse programming will build on The Co-operative Bank’s values, differentiating it as the original ethical bank.
The launch of Hits Radio Pride – which marks the first dedicated LGBTQ+ pop-up radio station in the UK by a major broadcaster – comes as music and radio have been central in uniting people during lockdown. According to Bauer Media research, 26% of people stated that they were listening to more radio than prior to lockdown, stating that radio offered companionship, a source of community and a connection to the outside world. Furthermore, of that 26%, 88% agreed that they will continue to listen to more radio post-lockdown when the country returns to norm.
With the Years & Years lead singer joining Jordan Lee for the very first show this Friday at 8am, the station will play some of the 21st century’s biggest artists who are much loved by the LGBTQ+ community – including Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Kim Petras, Sam Smith, Harry Styles and Ariana Grande – and exclusive interviews with stars such as Kylie. Olly Alexander, Mel C, Sigala, Regard and Gok Wan will be playing a mix of their favourite Pride party tracks, and MNEK, Anne-Marie, Jess Glynne and Ella Henderson will be hosting unique shows; playing the biggest hits and throwbacks that have helped shaped their lives.
In addition to music programming, Hits Radio Pride will be a platform to educate and raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and encourage inclusion and tolerance. Working with LGBT+ helpline Switchboard, the station will ensure listeners can get access to the right support and advice. Plus, with support from the Audio Content Fund, Hits Radio Pride will be airing a series titled ‘Tough Talks’, where contributors from the LGBTQ+ community will discuss the struggles the community often experience in a society which has and can continue to be intolerant. For example, in one of the episodes, Alfie, who is transmasc, and their partner of eight years Rachel reflect on the moment when Alfie told Rachael that they were questioning their gender identity. At the age of 18, Rachael was the first person Alfie told.
Abby Carvosso, Group MD, Bauer Advertising, said “As both The Co-operative Bank and ourselves at Bauer Media prioritise diversity and inclusivity and aim to always reflect our wide range of audiences, we’re thrilled to be launching Hits Radio Pride this weekend and to have the likes of Olly Alexander, Mel C, MNEK, Gok Wan and more join us on this exciting partnership. We cannot wait for audiences to listen in; the station offers something completely unique that addresses their needs for entertainment, education, companionship and unity.”
Deb Darlington, Brand Director at The Co-operative Bank, said “As the original ethical bank we’re delighted to be partners of this new station that embraces diversity and inclusion, two values that we’re passionate about and that are at the heart of our business. The incredible line-up of presenters and guests for Hits Radio Pride shows what a great opportunity the launch of this station is to not just celebrate these important values but also raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues.”
Hits Radio Pride launches on Friday 28th August at 8am and will be available online, on smart speakers, through the Hits Radio app, and initially on DAB in Bradford, Liverpool, Stoke, Swansea, and Northern Ireland. It will be on DAB+ in London and Norwich, and in South Yorkshire and Humberside from 1st September.
The full line up is below:
Monday to Friday
7-11am: Jordan Lee
11-2pm: Non-Stop Pride Hits and Throwbacks
2-7pm: Charlie Powell
7pm: Hits Radio Pride In the Mix
8pm: Non-Stop Pride Hits and Throwbacks
9-12pm: Saturday Morning with Fleur East
12-2pm: Non-Stop Pride Hits and Throwbacks
2-7pm: The Hits Radio Pride Residency
7pm: Stephanie Hirst
8pm: Hits Radio Pride in the Mix
9-12pm: James Barr
12-2pm: The Hits Radio Pride Mixtape
2-7pm: The Hits Radio Pride Residency
7pm: Non-Stop Pride Hits and Throwbacks
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