Sandi Toksvig launches radio station in new University home

Chancellor Sandi Toksvig

Chancellor Sandi Toksvig

University of Portsmouth Chancellor Sandi Toksvig has celebrated a local community radio station being broadcast from its new home on campus.

Express FM – which broadcasts across south-east Hampshire 24 hours a day – is being aired from the University’s Eldon Building. Students will increasingly now be involved in much of its programming to the station’s 40,000 listeners on 93.7 FM.

Sandi said she was thrilled to speak at the event as she has worked in radio for more than 30 years and still loves the medium.

She said: “My parents met at the BBC in 1952 so I wouldn’t be here at all if it wasn’t for radio. My Danish father came to London to train at the BBC and my mother worked on the other side of the glass as one of the first female studio managers.

“Radio is powerful because it is immediate, inclusive and low cost. And it gives a much more emotional and imaginative bond with the audience, than television or film.

“Express FM is part of an incredibly noble tradition. It’s a place where students will learn the skills of broadcast journalism and it’s a place where the people of Portsmouth will hear news and ideas that are relevant to their community.

“As every radio listener knows, it’s amazing what you can see with your ears.”

Sandi with station director and founder Cheryl Buggy

Sandi with station director and founder Cheryl Buggy

Express FM is one of the longest-running community stations in the UK and has just been granted its third five-year licence. Its mission is to showcase talent, celebrate success, raise aspirations and give local people a voice. The station broadcasts 45 different shows a week, which are hosted in the main by volunteers.

University Vice-Chancellor Graham Galbraith said: “I think our relationship with Express FM will go from strength-to-strength and I’m really looking forward to seeing the partnership grow. We have a new broadcast journalism course starting in 2017, which is another addition to our excellent suite of creative courses that give students real industry experience.”

The station was formerly located in Highbury College on Arundel Street before its move to the Eldon Building west wing, a £14m beacon for the arts and home to the University’s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries.

Station director and founder Cheryl Buggy said: “The station started in the University’s Wiltshire Building so this celebration is very much a homecoming.”

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