Wednesday 30 March 2016

Virgin is back

So - the Virgin brand returns to UK radio today. That familiar red star is back.

I gather that the last vestiges of fond memorabilia have been erased from One Golden Square as the Virgin's son arrives. In Christian O'Connell's words on Twitter "It's like having your ex back in your life". I liked the confident, contemporary way he, presumably with accord from Absolute management, handled the new friendly format adversary.

It's odd really. Different songs, largely. Different presenters, largely. Different frequencies. Different management. Different building. And yet Virgin 'is back'.  Radio's a funny old thing - with the place in the listener's heart almost insulated forever.

There is certainly a seed of rasping 1215 DNA in there - and you can hear that spirited, rough-edged, friendly informality on-air today. Despite Virgin being, amongst other things, an international radio brand, this version is authentically British, connecting with our guitar roots.

It's another of the recent nods too to attracting the loyalty of the male British ear, with much of the music radio sector dominated, quietly, to female appeal.

It wanted FM, it got AM. It now has DAB. It was the brand that missed out on a generation of transmission tech.

Enjoy the first moments on-air - from a train. Good luck, Virgin. Excitement in the industry is good news for all.

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