We're Back! Virgin Radio announces launch date and presenter line-up

Virgin Radio

1 Mar 2016, 14:47

Iconic radio brand Virgin Radio, part of the UTV Media portfolio of brands, has today announced that it will be returning to the airwaves on Wednesday 30th March, with the hugely talented Edith Bowman at the helm. Hosting the Virgin Radio Breakfast Show from 6am until 10am each morning, Edith will become the only full-time solo female breakfast presenter currently on national radio.

With a passion for music and a rich experience as a broadcaster spanning almost 20 years, Edith has a diverse body of work that has seen her broadcast shows on BBC Radio 1, 2, 5 Live, 6 Music and Scotland, also fronting a huge range of music festival coverage and awards show. Her big break in radio came in 2003, when she teamed up with Colin Murray to present renowned music show Colin and Edith on BBC Radio 1, and she also holds the current role of Music Editor for ELLE magazine.

Speaking of her forthcoming role on Virgin Radio, Edith said: “I’m utterly thrilled to be asked to host the Breakfast Show on the new and exciting Virgin Radio. Being back on the radio five days a week is going to be a lot of fun, and a place where I can share my passion for music and film with a wonderful audience. I feel honoured to be given the responsibility and can’t wait to get started – being the only solo female breakfast show host on national radio is an exhilarating opportunity. Live Bands, films, established artists, new music, interviews and an open conversation with the morning audience is going to be an absolute pleasure.”

Following on after the Breakfast Show will be Jamie East (10am – 1pm), Kate Lawler (1pm – 4pm) and Matt Richardson (4pm – 7pm), with Tim Cocker (7pm – 11pm) completing the brilliant weekday presenter line-up.

Jamie East has had a rich and varied career, and is best-known for founding popular gossip site Holy Moly in 2002, described by The Guardian as “the scourge of celebrity culture”. His TV works include presenting Big Brother’s Bit on the Side and Game of Thrones fan show Thronecast on Sky Atlantic, and he was also lead singer in indie band The Beekeepers in the late 90s.

Kate Lawler shot to fame after becoming the first female winner of Big Brother in 2002, which led to a successful presenting career in TV and radio. She hosted Channel 4’s RI:SE alongside talkRADIO presenter Iain Lee, and Capital FM's Hit Music Sunday with Andi Peters.  In 2007 Kate landed the breakfast show on Kerrang! Radio, taking over Drivetime a year later, where her show was nominated for Best Entertainment at the Sony Awards 2013. Next stop was The Late Show across the Bauer City Network for which Kate won Show of the Year at the Bauer Media Awards 2014.  She also has a huge passion for music and now DJs at corporate events.

Set to bring his unique sense of humour to Drivetime on Virgin Radio, multi-award winning stand-up comedian and presenter Matt Richardson will be taking on his first on-air presenting gig. After becoming a professional comedian by the age of 20, Matt secured his first major TV role co-hosting The Xtra Factor on ITV2 alongside Caroline Flack in 2013, before going on to TV appearances across a wealth of shows including Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Celebrity Juice. Matt is currently working on a number of TV projects and has a brand new stand up tour for the autumn of 2016, following up his twice extended sell-out and award-winning Hometown Hero 2013/14 stint on the road.

Rounding off the line-up is former XFM presenter Tim Cocker, who hosted the Breakfast Show for the station in Manchester for more than five years. A respected broadcaster with nominations from the prestigious Sony Academy Awards and Commercial Radio Awards among others, Tim also DJs at festivals and clubs across the country and presents rugby coverage for BT Sport.

Liam Thompson, Programme Director for Virgin Radio, said: “We can’t wait to bring Virgin Radio back to digital radio in March. This is a completely fresh start for a hugely admired brand – we’ve got a new line-up and approach, and securing a presenter as talented as Edith Bowman speaks volumes about our commitment to making a real impact in music radio. Jamie, Kate, Matt and Tim will do a great job in entertaining the nation throughout the day; listeners are going to want to tune in and turn us up!”

Virgin Radio previously broadcast in the UK between 1993 and 2008 to record audiences. In December 2014, UTV Media entered into an agreement with Virgin Radio International to relaunch Virgin Radio in the UK, subject to the necessary broadcasting licence being awarded – which it was by Ofcom in March 2015.