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BBC WM looks back on its 40 years of broadcasting
Nelson Mandela and Ed Doolan
Nelson Mandela with BBC WM's Ed Doolan on his 1993 visit to Birmingham

To celebrate 40 years of broadcasting BBC WM is looking back at the events, stories and people that have made the news over the past four decades.

Starting out life on the air as BBC Radio Birmingham, the station first broadcast on 9 November 1970 from studios at Pebble Mill in Edgbaston.

Since then BBC WM, as it's now called, has covered all the major news and sport stories across the West Midlands.

Reflecting the big community issues has also been central to BBC WM.

And to mark 40 years of broadcasting, BBC WM made a special documentary which was aired on Monday 30 August.

Listen: BBC WM: The first 40 years

The programme charts the history of the station from its launch to the present day through the eyes of some of its former and current presenters and personalities.

Below are a couple of snippets showing the range of stories and programmes featured on the station over the last four decades.

Birmingham Pub Bombings

Birmingham Pub bombings

On 21 November 1974 two bombs planted by the IRA destroyed two pubs - The Mulberry and the Tavern in The Town - killing 21 people and injuring 182.

Both pubs were later renamed and the six men imprisoned for the attacks - Hugh Callaghan, Patrick Hill, Gerard Hunter, Richard McIlkenny, William Power and John Walker - had their convictions overturned by the Court of Appeal in March 1991.

That night in late November, not long after Radio Birmingham's fourth birthday, is remember by its presenters, beginning with the Breakfast show's Les Ross and station assistant Richard Jeffs.

Radio Brum Club

In 1970 BBC Radio Birmingham was born at the Pebblemill studios.

While the big news and sports stories were always covered, the younger members of the West Midlands were also catered for.

Radio Brum Club was on every Saturday morning at 10am - with a repeat at the same time on Sundays.

Although presented by adults, the programme featured the work of the region's teenagers who were encouraged to get involved in the production of the show.

Bill Buckley and David Lowe were two kids who got their hands dirty working on Radio Brum Club and it was experience that would stand them in very good stead later in their careers.


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