Pounds 1m fanfare helps to launch Radio 5 Live

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

THE LAUNCH of the BBC's new 24-hour station, Radio 5 Live, at 5am next Monday will be heralded by a pounds 1m advertising campaign.

Television and radio trailers, posters, jingles, a campaign bus and 7 million leaflets are all part of the drive to alert listeners to the new network.

It expects to start life with Radio 5's audience of 3 million but make 'substantial' improvements by the end of the first year. The controller, Jenny Abramsky, predicts that listeners will come from commercial stations, particularly music-based ones, and some will be new to radio.

'This is not a new Radio 4, it is very much a young, vibrant, slightly rough radio station,' she said. The 'slightly rough' feel will come from instantaneous reaction to live news events.

There have been nine days of pilots and the 'astonishing job' of interviewing 900 candidates for 156 posts has been completed.

Programmes will include Women on Top, a sports show aimed at women, presented by Frances Edmonds, the wife of Philip, the former England cricketer. An American basketball star, Alton Byrd, will present a show on US sport, and the network's morning reports will be presented by Jane Garvey, formerly of BBC Radio Hereford and Worcester. Hers will be the first voice on air when Radio 5 Live is launched.