NightSchool on Beacon Radio

Now here’s a real blast from my past. When I was at Beacon Radio (1989-2000) I got involved in one of the evening magazine programmes for teenagers called “NightSchool”.

Martin, Chuck, and Lee – the original NightSchool team reunited in 2016

It was described by the presenter Chuck Street (Andy Hitchman) as ‘the Midlands top-rating teenage radio show’, and was broadcast every weeknight from September 1992 – July 2005. Each night Chuck (Andy H) was ably assisted by two studio assistants – Martin Childs and Lee Bannister (that’ll be me then), and it was our job to keep the groups of visiting teenagers in check!

I had also done the bulk of the production for the programme including all of the jingles and music beds – featuring the theme from “The Muppet Show”, taken from my original 1977 7-inch single! It had all been produced in the traditional fashion using quarter-inch tape, cut and spliced together using razor blades and sticky tape!

My 7-inch single of “The Muppet Show” theme was used in the introduction of every edition of NightSchool

In April 2016 as part of the ’40 Years of Radio in Wolverhampton’ on WCRfm, the original team of Chuck (Andy H), Martin and Lee (me again) re-united for a special programme. And you can listen to it right here.

As well as explaining what the programme was all about and how it worked, we shared our memories of the programme and the people who appeared on it, as well as a few original clips and some of the music we played on the show all those years ago. I had kept all of the original sound elements and jingles that I’d produced all those years ago, so they were ‘digitally remastered from the original tapes’ especially for this programme.

I loved working on NightSchool and its also very special to me on another very personal level. If you don’t know why, you’ll need to listen to this show to find out…

One question remains – Who Would You Most Like to Snog?™

Were You On NightSchool?

If you’ve discovered this page, and YOU appeared on Beacon’s NightSchool programme back in the day (Autumn 1992 – Summer 1995) please get in touch, we’d seriously love to hear from you! I have kept all of the original NightSchool diaries with details of who was on which show and when, so I’ll probably remember you! Also if you have a copy of your show, or if you were a listener and have a copy of any of the NightSchool programmes – again, please get in touch because we’d love to hear them and maybe even put them online for others to hear!

You can contact me through this website, or any of my social media pages (you’ll find the links dotted around this page).

The Story of the Jumper

Andy Walters finds the Beacon 303 jumper in the rubble of the old ComProd studio in 2013 – it had been there since the place was built 1976

In the photo above, you can see we’re holding a Beacon 303 jumper and if you look carefully, we’ve each signed it on the arm.

This jumper had actually been found at Beacon during some renovation work at Beacon in 2013, a couple of years before this reunion, within the old upstairs studio where Martin and I had worked (Commerical Production – ComProd).

Basically a wall was demolished, and there it was!

It seems that the jumper had been there ever since the original construction work on that part of the building in 1975/6 – a whole 37 years.

Andy Walters from WCRfm was there at the time and was able to save the jumper.

Fast forward to the 40th Anniversary Weekend event in 2016, and Andy had the idea of asking every participant to sign the jumper.

As our NightSchool reunion show had to be recorded a couple of weeks before the event due to various work commitments, we were the first to sign the jumper. Although by the time the weekend had happened, it had filled up nicely with signatures of Beacon people from all across the station’s history!

Featuring photos courtesy of Andy Walters