Two B.A.D Radio DJ’s, Soulful D and Master C, became dissatisfied with the station, so like so many others before them, decided to start their own.
Radio For The People (Radio F.T.P) launched on 7th February 1988 with a stereo signal on 103.7 FM and DJ’s Dougy D, DJ Reds, The Soul Force Crew, The One Cut Crew, The Playboy and Enterprise Crews, Cut Ice and The Senior Citizens Hour.
They had a shaky start. Everything ran off a single electrical socket. “We were a joke, something to be toyed with by BAD Radio”, Master C told Venue Magazine. AM FM said at the time, “(BAD Radio) have been joined by Radio FTP 104 with more black music. They’re having quite a few early technical problems, though.”
They originally came on in the evening and gradually increased hours when DJ’s became available. By May of 1988 they were taking adverts and things stated to improve quite rapidly. They started to organise trips to places like Barry Island Pleasure Park where some of their DJ’s would then play, and in The Black Community Awards on the 25th June, FTP was voted best entertainers. In July 88 they started to sell t-shirts and use their own custom made Bill Mitchell jingles. With its 7 day schedule and commitment to the community, FTP became Bristol’s most successful pirate station, boasting 40,000 listeners within the first 6 months of broadcasting.
In 1988, the old IBA announced that they were to offer some smaller licences, and pirates could apply as long as they closed by the end of the year. Many pirates around the country decided to have a go and FTP was one of them. They closed as a pirate at Midnight on 31st December in a blaze of publicity. This included sending out loads of stickers, getting people to sign a petition on the streets of Bristol and appearing on the local HTV news programme on the 22nd December.
The legal Radio FTP 97.2 launched on Saturday 21st April 1990 but it was never the same again. The change in style of presentation and watered down music policy turned most of FTP’s listeners away in the end. An existing pirate broadcast a spoof called Radio FTWR (merging FTP with local station GWR) and they began to be known as “Radio Fooled The People” and “Radio For The Money”.
With mounting debts, in December 1990, it was bought up by the Chiltern Radio Group who re-launched it as Galaxy Radio 97.2 the following month. Later the Group won the regional franchise for South Wales and The West and re-launched the station as Galaxy 101 in 1994. The 97.2 transmitter is retained, and offers better reception in the city than 101FM. The station has changed hands on several occasions as a result of mergers and takeovers, and for a time broadcast as Vibe 101 and, now, Kiss 101. The Galaxy brand can still be heard across many regions of England.
There was an attempt by ex-FTP members to apply for the 107.3FM license in Bristol (now 107.2 and occupied by Star). This was under the name of Future Radio and would have broadcast many alternative styles of music. However, another local group who had run an RSL called Kute FM got the license. By the time they got on air as ‘The Eagle’ they had changed the format from their original RSL broadcasts to a more mainstream one. The Eagle later became Star.
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