A blue heritage plaque in honour of Choice FM – the Britain’s first and only 24-hour Black music station – will be unveiled this year, HuffPost UK can reveal.
This year marks 30 years since the station broadcast its first show. To commemorate its history, the plaque unveiling will take place on October 7 at its first HQ in Brixton, south London.
It’s being organised through the Nubian Jak community trust – a commemorative plaque and sculpture scheme that highlights the historic contributions of Black and minority ethnic people in Britain – and is part of the London Blue Plaque Scheme, run by English Heritage.
During its 23-year tenure, Choice FM helped to champion Black music of all genres and break acts from around the world.
Choice FM also ran debates on current affairs issues that were not covered by other mainstream stations. Over the years, the station was awarded a number of accolades including a MOBO and Sony Radio Academy Awards.
Neil Kenlock, a co-founder of the station along with Patrick Berry, said: “Many Black British people, and those from many other communities, remember Choice FM and the strong heritage that it has left behind. The station gave opportunities to UK and international artists, businesses, charities and local community groups that did not have a media outlet.
“Since Choice FM there has never been another Black-owned, commercial licensed station that broadcasts across London. Therefore, celebrating the 30th anniversary is important, touching those who remember it and educating those who are not aware of this British history.
“The blue plaque will highlight the work of Windrush descendents and our huge impact on the radio and music industry in the UK. I would like to thank everyone, including Lambeth Council, for their support for this project.”
In 2004, the station was bought by the Capital Radio broadcasting group, now Global Media, and on October 7, 2013, it was rebranded – without warning – to Capital Xtra. All...