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Last Updated: Friday, 10 June, 2005, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
Xfm Manchester wins licence fight
Morrisey performs with The Smiths
Many Xfm artists were inspired by Manchester bands like The Smiths
Alternative music station, Xfm, has beaten off 18 competitors to be awarded the new radio licence for Manchester.

The city which spawned groundbreaking bands like Joy Division, Happy Mondays and The Smiths will now have a music station reflecting their ilk.

The Capital Radio-owned station was awarded the 12-year FM licence by industry regulator Ofcom.

Xfm is currently only available on analogue signal in London but will broadcast in Manchester from November.

It is also available on digital radio and on the internet.

'Local support'

"If ever there was a radio station made for Manchester, Xfm is it," said managing director, Graham Bryce.

"We did loads of research in Manchester and we were overwhelmed by the level of local support.

"I'm delighted that Ofcom have recognised Manchester as the home of great new music and Xfm as the brand to deliver it."

"We can't wait to bring our award winning programming to the people of Manchester and hope to be on air later this year."

Expansion hopes

The station began broadcasting in September 1997 and was bought by Capital in April 1998.

Playing mainly guitar-led "indie" music, it features DJs such as The Office star Ricky Gervais and comedian Jimmy Carr.

But its biggest star, Christian O'Connell, recently announced he was quitting and moving to Virgin Radio.

Owner GCap Media hopes the Manchester licence is the start of an expansion of Xfm across the UK.

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