Virgin Radio UK

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Virgin Radio UK
Virgin Radio UK logo.png
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom
SloganThe Chris Evans Breakfast Show & The Best Music!
FormatHot Adult Contemporary
OwnerWireless Group
First air date
30 March 2016 (2016-03-30)
WebcastRadioplayer Edit this at Wikidata

Virgin Radio UK is a national Hot Adult Contemporary radio station in the United Kingdom that launched on 30 March 2016, owned by Wireless Group[1] which is itself a subsidiary of News Corp.[2] It is the second incarnation of Virgin Radio in the UK: the original station launched in 1993 before being rebranded as Absolute Radio in 2008.

Virgin Radio UK (as well as its Italian version) does not follow the contemporary hit radio format that characterises the Virgin Radio network globally.


The station launched at 11:00 on 30 March 2016 on a Virgin Trains service from Manchester to London by Edith Bowman and Matt Richardson and the first song played was a live cover version of David Bowie's song "Changes" by Gavin James.[3]

At launch, Virgin Radio UK broadcast to about 75% of the UK population via the Sound Digital DAB ensemble, and also broadcasts via online streaming to computers, mobile device applications and internet radios. It cannot be received outside of the UK.

The broadcasts are presented live from 04:00 to 01:00, and then music is played back-to-back overnight with pre-recorded announcements from rotating presenters from the day.

On 3 September 2018, Chris Evans announced that from January 2019 he would be moving to Virgin Radio after 13 years of broadcasting on BBC Radio 2.[4] He launched his new breakfast show on 21 January 2019.[5]

On 7 January 2019, Virgin Radio joined the Sky and Freesat satellite platforms.[6]

Sister Stations[edit]

Wireless launched two new Virgin-branded DAB+ spin-offs stations – Virgin Radio Anthems and Virgin Radio Chilled – on 21 December 2018. Virgin Radio Anthems plays guitar-based classics from the 80s and 90s. Virgin Radio Chilled features acoustic singer-songwriters and is designed to unwind and relax.[7] Both stations broadcast The Chris Evans Breakfast Show. Since Virgin Anthems launched in December 2018, the team at Virgin have recently changed their slogan to "The Chris Evans Breakfast Show and Classic Tracks".

On 30 December 2019, Virgin Radio UK launched a third digital spin-off station – Virgin Radio Groove – on DAB+. It consists of motown, soul and disco music and broadcasts The Chris Evans Breakfast Show at breakfast.

Notable Presenters[edit]

Current Presenters[edit]

Former Presenters[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "18 radio stations confirmed for new DAB multiplex". Radio Today. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  2. ^ Gallivan, Rory (25 June 2016). "News Corp Buys Wireless Group for $296 Million". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  3. ^ Virgin Radio UK reveals launch plans Virgin Radio 16 March 2016
  4. ^ Savage, Mark (3 September 2018). "Chris Evans to leave Radio 2 breakfast". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Chris Evans launches new Virgin Radio breakfast show". BBC News. BBC. 22 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Virgin Radio added to Freesat and Sky platforms". Radio Today. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 29 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Virgin Radio UK launches two new digital spin-offs". Radio Today. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 21 December 2018.