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Tuesday, 11 January, 2000, 16:31 GMT
Sir Cliff backs Christian radio bid

Sir Cliff is already patron of London's Premier Christian Radio

Pop veteran Sir Cliff Richard has put his support behind plans to launch Britain's first FM Christian radio station.

Committed Christian Sir Cliff, 59, is backing a bid by the organisation Christian Voice to win the independent local radio licence for the West Midlands region. The licence is due to be advertised by the Radio Authority shortly.

If it is won by Christian Voice the organisation says it will launch a non-denominational station providing family and community-based programmes, "positive news" and music for people aged 25-50.

The station could be heard by up to three million listeners in the West Midlands area.

Many radio programme directors are underestimating how much people want to see a return to traditional values and good lyrics in the charts
Peter Wilson, Christian Voice launch director
Sir Cliff - who recently had a hit with Millennium Prayer which set the words of the Lord's Prayer to the music of Auld Lang Syne - said he was sure the station would be welcomed by the audience.

"I am delighted to add my support to Christian Voice. I feel sure that a Christian radio station in the Midlands will benefit the whole community.

"Listeners do not currently have a real choice if they wish to hear Christian music and family-orientated broadcasting."

Despite the success of Millennium Prayer, some radio stations refused to play it because they felt it did not have mainstream appeal.

Christian Voice launch director Peter Wilson said the nationwide support for the song proved some radio programmers were ignoring the demand for Christian broadcasting.

"It's taken us by surprise to realise how much Christianity is seen as a taboo in this country.

"Many radio programme directors are underestimating how much people want to see a return to traditional values and good lyrics in the charts."

West Bromich-based Christian Voice also has the support of church, community and council leaders.

Sir Clif is already patron of the London-based Premier Christian Radio station, which has a weekly reach of 108,000 listeners.

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See also:
21 Nov 99 |  UK
Sir Cliff defies critics
26 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
Sir Cliff heads for the top
08 Nov 99 |  Entertainment
Christians call for Sir Cliff boycott

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