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BBC WM - 40th anniversary
Ed interviews John Major
Presenter Ed Doolan has spoken to many leaders over the years, including John Major

2010 is a big year for BBC WM, the BBC's local radio station that broadcasts to the West Midlands.

BBC WM celebrates it's 40th anniversary on 9 November.

In the build-up to the anniversary, we'll be looking back with BBC WM at the past four decades, reflecting the station's history, along with major news and sports stories.

We'll also take a wider look at changes that have taken place across Birmingham and the Black Country.

Early days

BBC WM started life as BBC Radio Birmingham on 9 November 1970, broadcasting from the Pebble Mill studios in Edgbaston.

Pebble Mill
Pebble Mill was officially opened by HRH The Princess Royal in 1971

The first presenter on air was Peter Powell.

Building work at Pebble Mill was still being finished off when the station first went on air and the studios, which became the home of the BBC in the Midlands, were officially opened in 1971.

In November 1981 Radio Birmingham changed it's name to BBC Radio WM (the 'radio' was later dropped) to give a better reflection of the area it covered - the West Midlands, south Staffordshire, north Worcestershire and north Warwickshire.

New home

The station led the BBC's big move in 2004 to it's new home at the Mailbox in Birmingham city centre.

BBC WM presenter, with elephant
BBC WM will be taking a nostalgic look back over the past 40 years

The first presenter to officially broadcast from the new studios was BBC WM's Ed Doolan.

So, 40 years of memories; there will be moments of nostalgia with a trawl through the station's sound archives and interviews with past and current presenters, as well as photos of events, people and places.

BBC WM will also be taking a wider look back at news and sports stories that it has covered over the past 40 years and reflecting on how the region has changed, along with landmark developments.

Past, present, future

Keith Beech, managing editor of BBC WM said: "It's been four decades of great change within the area, a period that's seen many momentous events and news stories that have placed this area centre stage.

Joanne Malin on the road
Joanne Malin on the road ahead of the 2010 General Election

"As well as celebrating 40 years of broadcasting and looking back at the highlights and welcoming back some familiar faces and voices, we also want people's stories of how the area has changed, things they miss and things that they welcome."

"We'll be using the past to look ahead to what's next for the West Midlands and for BBC WM."

To find out how you can involved with BBC WM's celebrations and features, take a look at BBC WM 40th Anniversary: Your photos

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