Sunday Afternoons, Hospital Radio Basingstoke

Listen to the Show Sundays at 1.30pm

The Sound of Sunday on HRB

Basingstoke Singer Jodie Steele to be Guest on 18 February Show

The special guest on this week's show is Basingstoke singer Jodie Steele.

Jodie will be talking about her experience performing in the BBC's brand new Saturday night singing competition All Together Now where she has made it throough to the finl after impressing 97 of the 100.

Jodie is an accomplished singer, actor and dancer and has appeared in many big musical oproductions.  She has in the past featured at Basingstoke Live and was a student at Queen Mary's College.

She will also be the guest drawmaster for this weekend's Sainsbury's prize draw.

Jodie Steele on The Sound of Sunday on 18 February 2018.

Goodbye Cheggers

He was the first celebrity guest we ever had on the show.  He was the first celebrity I had ever interviewed on the radio. 

20 December 1998. 

I can remember being so excited that I was going to talk to someone who I had grown up with on TV.  He was on the phone from The Anvil as he was in panto that year.  

I remember him being so easy to talk to and we could have gone on talking all afternoon.  

Keith was a regular in panto in either Basingstoke or Reading so when he was back in 2001, he made another appearance on our Christmas show – and then again in 2002.

By now our Christmas show had developed into a show that also included a competition prize for a member of staff to take their family to see the panto at both Basingstoke and Reading.  Once again I can remember him being very easy to talk to and he remembered me from 3 years before.  He spoke fondly about his experience of the maternity department in Basingstoke when his son Ted was born there.

It wasn't until 2014 that he was back in Basingstoke, and by now I was getting to meet some of the panto cast in person rather than just on the phone.  I met Keith in an office upstairs in the Anvil and we recorded an interview that ran for about 15 minutes but it felt like we could have chatted all afternoon.  Much of it was about Saturday morning TV and he recorded some liners for both HRB and the BIG Broadcast and signed my autograph book.  Some extracts of that interview were used in our special show It Started with Swap Shop which was nominated for an award in 2017.

My experience of him seems to match those of all his friends who have paid tribute to him.  A genuinely nice person, and I feel privilaged to have met him.  

This Sunday we will repeat that interview from 2014 as our tribute to someone who millions of people grew up watching and was part of our lives for so long.  Sunday 17 December at 4.30 on HRB.



Mark Curry Joins us for our Big Christmas Show 2017

It’s that time again – our Big Christmas Show will officially launch Christmas on HRB on Sunday 10 December at 12 mid-day.

The centre piece as usual will be the Christmas Cracker Dash with instant requests and competitions for staff and patients.

Before that we’ll meet the cast of Peter Pan – this year’s Anvil panto and our live special guest will be former Blue Peter presenter Mark Curry who will join us to remember his time on the show as part of our celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the world’s longest running children’s TV show in 2018.

We’ll also hear the Tadley Band playing recently at the Tadley Christmas lights switch on, Trev and Simon will be talking about Strangeness in Space and Richard Smith will talk about the New Year’s Eve BIG Broadcast.

And later on, it will be Resident’s Requests for everyone at Basingfield Court in Old Basing.

For five hours of festive fast moving fun, it is the Sound of Sunday Big Christmas Show live from 12 mid-day.

Daily Mail Backs Down over Blue Peter Headline

We’ve been saying for weeks that the article in the Daily Mail saying that Blue Peter had zero viewers for one “episode” in June was unfair, and now the paper seems to have agreed that the headline at least was wrong.

It all started when the Daily Mail published an article, the headline of which said that an edition (or “episode”) of Blue Peter got zero viewers.  The article referred to the third repeat of a particular edition of the show that did register zero viewers but the previous showings of the programme that week got over 300,000 viewers in total.  This particular repeat was on at 2.30 on a Tuesday afternoon during term-time!

We contacted them to challenge them on this, and waited for their response.

And waited…

And waited..,.

And finally we got two of them.

The first reply said “The article made it clear that the broadcast was a repeat and that it did not register any viewers via the BARB system used to measure audience ratings, which does not mean that there were no viewers at all, obviously. “

So “no viewers” “obviously” does not actually mean “no viewers” then.

The reply went on “The reporter also double-checked the figures with ‘Overnights’ – the company which supplies the numbers. They confirmed that having zero viewers on the system meant that literally no one in a BARB household had watched the broadcast.

The article specifically states that there may still have been some youngsters tuning in (i.e, because BARB is an imperfect system).”

We replied to this pointing out that the headline quite clearly says ““Children’s show once watched by millions had NO viewers for an episode”.  That’s “episode” not “broadcast .

A few days later we were called by Katherine Rushton who wrote the original article, who basically said the same thing as the original reply, and that the article only referred to that broadcast of the programme, but when I pointed out that the headline said “episode” not “broadcast” she had no answer and said that she didn’t write the headline.

So that’s OK then!

A few more emails later also pointing out a factual inaccuracy that still exists in the article, we received the following reply:

 “I am sure you will appreciate that newspaper headlines need to be read in conjunction with the article. In this case, the article itself makes clear that the broadcast was a repeat and that it did not register any viewers via the BARB system used to measure audience ratings, which does not mean that there were no viewers at all.

Whilst we cannot agree that the article is inaccurate, if it would resolve your concerns, we would be willing – as a gesture of goodwill – to replace ‘an episode’ with ‘a broadcast’ in the headline.”

So a partial result anyway.  At least now the headline is more correct than it used to be.  No mention of the challenge we made to write a POSITIVE article about all the good things Blue Peter does and they didn’t reply to several invitations to come onto the show and explain themselves, but at least they did eventually listen -shame it took 2 months of Bonehead of the Week awards to get them to take any notice.

There is by the way still a factual inaccuracy in the article which has also been pointed out now on 5 occasions, but I guess you can’t have everything.



The Sound of Sunday Challenges Daily Mail over Blue Peter Headline

A few weeks ago, the Daily Mail published an article with the headline “Is Blue Peter sunk? Children’s show once watched by millions had NO viewers for an episode on digital TV“.  Judging by the response on social media, lots of people thought this meant that it was saying that Bue Peter has no viewers.  We sent an email via their website to ask why they had published an article with such a headline.  There were other inaccuracies within the article too.

We got no reply.

Three more emails were sent via their website with the same question.

Still no response.

It took two written letters that were by their own admission “passed around in-trays” to get a reply.

Here it is:

“The article made it clear that the broadcast was a repeat and that it did not register any viewers via the BARB system used to measure audience ratings, which does not mean that there were no viewers at all, obviously.

The reporter also double-checked the figures with ‘Overnights’ – the company which supplies the numbers. They confirmed that having zero viewers on the system meant that literally no one in a BARB household had watched the broadcast.

The article specifically states that there may still have been some youngsters tuning in (ie, because BARB is an imperfect system).

The reporter also contacted the BBC for their comments about the episode, an opportunity for them to explain the low audience. She also specifically asked for iPlayer figures and allowed a generous time period for them to respond, informing them of the article’s deadline.

Unfortunately she was not informed by the BBC that the broadcast was signed and subtitled until the day after publication, so this context could not be included in the article. Even had it been, however, it is surely reasonable to have expected the signed broadcast to register a live audience.

You are correct on one point  – that the original broadcast went out at 5.30pm – and repeated two hours later.


We will be happy to amend the online version to correct the timing and also to add that the episode included sign language and subtitles.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to contact us. We send all good wishes for your radio station.

Kind regards

Hilary Kingsley

Readers’ Editor”


The original article actually referred to a Tuesday afternoon repeat of a show that had actually already been on 3 times and had attracted what is the show’s average audience.

Lost on the reporter was the fact that the repeat showing it is actually referring to was actually shown with sign language and subtitles.  The article now says that the Thursday evening live show had sign language and subtitles.

We did respond to the above to point out that the headline says that “an EPISODE” of Blue Peter got no viewers – which is different to saying that a particular broadcast got no viewers.  We also pointed out that after they made the correction they said they would make, they actually created a new error!

No response to that whatsoever.

A few days later though we were called by Katherine Rushton who wrote the original article.

She said she stood by the article and that it dodn’t mean that Blue Peter had no viewers and it made it clear that it was referrering to one broadcast of the programme registering zero under the measuring system.

When we pointed out that the headline clearly says an “EPISODE” of the programme got no viewers which is different to saying one particular broadcast, her answer was  “well I didn’t write the headline”.

So we tried to stick up for the world’s longest running children’s TV show.  We still think that the headline was totally wrong, and it would be interesting to know how many other programmes being broadcast at 2.30pm on that Tuesday afternoon in June also registered as zero viewers under the official system of measurement.  Almost certainly Blue Peter was not alone.






Back for Series 27

It may be the start of our new series, but we've hardly been off the air.  Our summer special recorded at Alton's PArty in the Park and our award-nominated It Started with Swap Shop filling our break from live shows fro the last two weekends.

We're back live this weekend though with all our regular fatures, carrying on where the last series left off really.  Series 26 had more requests, and more phone calls than we have ever had – which is what hospital radio is all about.  We even had to extend the show on a number of occasions due to the number of requests and phone calls!

The new run will start with lots of running – as Memory Makers goes back to the years of previous World Athletics Championships.  We hope to have more guests from Blue Peter on over the next year as that show gets ready to celebrate 60 years on the air, and of course every week we will give away a Sainsbury's Goody bag in our week prize draw that will celebrate its fifth anniversary in October.  

We'll also be followed once a month by Residents' Requests, a feature of HRB's programme schedule that started last year and which has contributed hundreds of requests during that time from the residents of Ashley House and Basingfield Court Care homes.  

And at some point very soon, HRB itself will play its 100,000th request.  Will it be on a Sunday afternoon?  You never know, but someone will get a special surprise whenever it might be.

Join us every Sunday for the next 12 months live from 1.30pm.

A Day of Magic in Alton

We were out and about at Alton's Party in the Park this weekend to record our summer special show that you can hear next weekend.

It was a day of magic themed stalls and activities to raise money for Alton Liosn supported charities and Treloars.

There was even a miniuture steam train on its way to Hogwarts.

Live music was provided by Trip Wire. 

The show will also preview some of the events that form part of the Basingstoke Festival, which starts on Friday, and you can hear it at 3pm on 18 June.


Remembering John Noakes with Blue Peter Director/Producer Alex Leger

There was sad news on 29 May when it was announced that former Blue Peter presenter John Noakes had died aged 83.

John was a Blue Peter presenter for 13 years, he took on numerous adventures and challenges, and became the ultimate Blue Peter presenter for millions of viewers and all those who have gone on to wear the badge as presenters since.

One person who worked with John during his 36 years with the show was producer and director Alex Leger.

Alex was a member of the Blue Peter team for 36 years and John was one of the first presenters that he worked with when he joined the show in 1975.

Alex appeared on The Sound of Sunday to remember his time working with John, what he was like as a person and THAT climb up Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square.

Alex was also the celebrity drawmaster for this weekend’s Sainsbury’s draw, picking number 24 to win the goody bag this weekend – that number belonged to David on C3.

Alex will hopefully return to HRB in the future to talk more generally about the show to mark its 60th anniversary next year.

Meanwhile you can buy his excellent book “Behind the Badge” which includes memories of his time on the show and the 600 films he produced. Go to

The BIG Broadcast 2017 – a BIG Success

It was the biggest such event that hospital radio has ever been involved in – The BIG Broadcast 2017 joined together 37 hospital radio stations for 48 hours of special guests, live music, requests, radio bingo and much more over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend.

Richard Smith and his team went on air from his studio in Lancashire at 6pm on Saturday.  Programmes included live musical performances, special guests and a game of national radio bingo, which was played by patients listening in around the country including those at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital. 

Musical guests included the Pendle Jazz Men performing live.

Singer Kiki DeVille also performed live. 

Other celebrity appearances included Phil Tufnell, Jonathan Agnew, Matt Allwright, Matthew Wright, Lorraine Kelly, Larry Lamb, Andi Peters, Ruth Langsford and Debbie McGee.

HRB was part of the event with a one-hour 80s special hosted by Neil Ogden and Mel Montagnon, which included the weekly Sainsbury's draw, won by John on C3.  Co-Presenter Mel Montagnon delivered the prize on the air during the show.

Most importantly there was plenty of opportunity for requests collected by participating stations and phoned in by listeners around the UK.

It was the 7th BIG Broadcast and the news that was announced right at the end of the show is that the team will return for an 8th time live on New Year's Eve at mid-day for a show to see in the new year.



Live on The BIG Broadcast 2017 this weekend


For one hour on Sunday afternoon, The Sound of Sunday will be live on The Big Broadcast 2017.

We'll be broadcasting an hour of eighties music from HRB's studios on the 30 hospital radio stations that are taking the show including Auckland Hospital Radio, Radio Frimley Park and Hospital Radio Reading. 

Mel Montagnon will be joining in too and will deliver the Sainsbury's prize after the draw is done at 2.15pm.

The music will be a mix of tunes that all have something to do with TV or film in the 1980s – and it will be a bit of an eclectic mix. 

So join us on Hospital Radio Basingstoke and across the UK on The BIG Broadcast 80s Hour on Sunday 30 April from 2pm.



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