Today in history: 29 July 1945
The Light Programme was a BBC radio station which broadcast mainstream light entertainment and music from 1945 until 1967, when it was rebranded as BBC Radio 2. It opened on this date, taking over the longwave frequency used before 1939 by the BBC National Programme.
The service was intended as the domestic replacement for the wartime BBC Forces Programme which had proved popular with civilian audiences in Britain as well as members of the forces.
The longwave signal on 1500 metres was transmitted from Droitwich in the Midlands (as it still is now for Radio 4) and gave fairly good coverage of most of the UK, but some medium-wave frequencies were added later, using low-power transmitters to fill in local blank spots. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Light Programme (along with the BBC's two other national programmes, the Home Service and the Third Programme) gradually became available also on what was known at the time as VHF, as the BBC developed a network of local FM transmitters.
The Light Programme closed at 02:02 on 30 September 1967. At 05:30 on the same day it was replaced by Radio 1 on its mediumwave frequencies, and by Radio 2 (the renamed Light Programme) on its longwave frequency. The FM frequencies were mainly used by Radio 2 but sometimes leased to Radio 1 until that station acquired its own FM frequencies in the late 1980s.
Mrs. Dale's Diary was a popular weekday afternoon serial drama on the station.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzFHGfusy1Q"]Jessie Matthews - Mrs Dale's Diary - Theme, Intro and short clips - YouTube[/ame]