The history of radio transmission starts in 1895, and broadcasting of talk and music with the goal of reaching a wider audience 10 years later, in 1905. Commercial broadcastings began in the early 1920s, followed by invention and development of very high frequency (VHF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF).

History of Broadcasting in the UK

In some European countries, including the UK, in the early 1890s, there was a system available that could broadcast news, religious readings, book readings, music or theatre performances via existing phone lines. In the UK, this broadcasting system was called Electrophone. The first experimental music broadcasting started in 1920, and two years later the British Broadcasting Company, BBC was founded. At that time, there were two first radio stations in England, 2LO and 2MT. By 1923 there were 4 more. In 1926, British Broadcasting Company was renamed into British Broadcasting Corporation, that was being funded by the government but did not answer to it. The philosophy of BBC was founded on ideals of public service broadcasting, benefits of education and entertainment while staying independent from political influence. At that time, not only British stations were broadcasting on the radio, but also a few foreign stations – Radio Normandie and Radio Luxembourg.

In the period until the 1950s broadcasting systems were installed and used all over the world and in the 1960s small portable radios were introduced and popularised.

Until the 1950s, the only foreign radio station that did not decline in popularity was Radio Luxembourg. However, with the appearance of commercial television, radio broadcasting started losing its popularity. During the 1960s, the UK still didn’t have its own commercial radio. Instead of that, there was a number of pirate radios, located on ships in international waters just out of the reach of the jurisdiction of England. The most popular one was Radio Caroline that managed to continue broadcasting even after the pirates were outlawed in the late 1960s.