Listen to Classic FM’s very first moments on air

6 September 2017, 12:16 | Updated: 6 September 2017, 12:58

By Lizzie Davis

We’re 25 this year! And we’re celebrating throughout this week with lots of special events and programmes. But we’ve also been digging through the archive and have found Classic FM’s very first moment on air…

Classic FM announced itself to the world 25 years ago this week. It was the UK’s very first national commercial radio station and the news of its arrival on the air waves caused quite a stir.

So we’ve dipped into the archive to find our very first moment on air. Nick Bailey, who only retired from the station earlier this year, was the first voice our listeners heard, and the first piece was appropriately celebratory – Handel’s Zadok the Priest.

And you can hear the story of how Classic FM first came about in ‘The Pazza Factor: The Story of Classic FM’, a play starring Jon Culshaw. Click here to listen now.

And don’t forget to join us all day on Thursday 7th September when we’ll be celebrating our birthday in style with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

The audio clip of Classic FM's very first moments on air is just one of the many audio treasures held in the British Library's sound archive. 

This autumn the British Library is celebrating some of those treasures with a 'Season of Sound', including a free exhibition and events. Find out more at the British Library website