Radio Nova broadcast to Leicestershire in the early 1980s, borrowing their name and a few jingles from the famous Dublin station.
They were based originally in Groby, Leicestershire and broadcast on FM. At the same time, Radio Veronica and Radio King were using on AM, with Veronica being based in Desford and King in Leicester Forest East.
When the three stations were simultaneously removed from air, the authorities thought that would be the end of it. How wrong could they have been, as Des Ford and the owner of Nova FM had become good friends. After things had calmed down they went to work building a really powerful AM transmitter, with a little help from a friend who, shall we say, was in the know…
Inspired by the activities of Radios Jackie and Sovereign in London and Sunshine Radio in Ludlow, plans were made to start a 7 days a week service. A studio was built by Des Ford at 21 Amanda Road, Glen Pava by mid July 1983 and tests started almost immediately. The aerial was an inverted ‘J’ originally, and the deal was that if they could be heard in Lutterworth (about 12 miles away) at 03.00 hrs then that would be great. You have to remember that this was well before the days of mobile phones and the only real way to know if they had archived their goal was to drive out and listen. It took a while, but after several modifications to the antenna, bingo they got it! A couple more days and nights testing and they were off and running, with regular broadcasts starting on the 3rd September.
They could be heard on 1404 kHz, 212 metres medium wave and featured all kinds of music including reggae with Steve Lee and the American County Countdown with Mike Amos and Bob Kingsley.
For a time in late 1983 they could claim to be Leicester’s only commercial radio station, following the bankruptcy and closedown of Centre Radio but before the replacement provided by Leicester Sound. However, unlike other stations in other parts of the country, the authorities came down heavy on Radio Nova.
The station had gone by early 1984, but due to their professional nature many of their presenters moved on to work on other stations in Ireland, offshore, abroad and around the UK.
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