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History

Solid Gold GEM AM was partly inspired by GEM-AM – a British ‘gold’ radio station which broadcast to Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, and East Staffordshire in the East Midlands.

It began in 1988, and grew into one of the most well-regarded ‘gold’ stations in Great Britain with phenomenal ratings by the early 1990s. The on-air team included DJs some who are still with us today! ‘Golder and wiser’, these include Krissi Carpenter, Jenni Costello, Andy Marriott and Len Groat who invented the GEM station name and was the Head of Programmes on the original station for 6 year.

Between them this DJ team had worked on many UK stations: Krissi started on short wave around the world (broadcasting from her garage with egg boxes on the walls to dull the sound). From there she joined the team at WABC broadcasting from Co Donegal in Ireland before moving to England and joining GEM AM. Krissi also worked for Signal Radio in Stoke on Trent and also BBC Radio Shropshire. Jenni was on BBC Radio 1 and other London radio stations.

The original GEM disappeared in the 90s when it was absorbed into a national radio group but the station that had been the ‘radio home’ to so many DJs was not forgotten for long. They had stayed in touch, and in 2012, twenty-four years after it first launched, they created the internet service ‘Solid Gold GEM AM’. We feature the same music, jingles and familiar names from the original station, but now are available nationally!

Such was the interest in our station we were joined by DJs who had worked on other UK radio stations.

These included Andy Siddell who was on the satellite station Radio Nova that broadcast all over Europe, then he moved to Leeds to work on Radio Aire, then the ‘Gold’ station Magic 828 where he was as also head of music for the Magic North network.

Our breakfast DJ Stephen Wells is from Wales where he ‘helped out’ at Marcher Sound before joining us.

Graham Lawler presents ‘Agenda’ Monday – Thursday 6-8pm and is an educationalist and broadcaster who joined us to do some relaxing ‘music radio’.

John Palin worked in hospital radio, loves music, and is also an expert on radio jingles which you can hear in his show.

Geoff Dorsett has interviewed many 100s of 60s and 70s stars and presents three specialist shows every weekend.

Pat Murphy has worked at numerous stations including AFN, BBC local radio and commercial stations such as Ocean Sound, Chiltern, Swan FM and Radio Jackie.

And of course Barry Jay, who had never before worked in radio but was a disco DJ and now is a huge hit with his 1960s Café. We were joined in 2020 by Simon Shaw who can be heard Monday to Thursday evenings and every Saturday night with Night Train.

We also have an experienced North American radio DJ on our team, Chuck Shorter, who presents Top 40 Countdown USA and also fills in for vacations.

The latest additions to our radio family for 2021 are Trevor Thomas, Matthew Rudd, Mike Wyer and Tony Lloyd.



That leaves our ‘oldest’ DJ – Len Groat, who was on University radio in Wales in the 1960s, and then helped launch the north-east station Metro Radio in 1974. He went on to Piccadilly in Manchester, and of course Radio Trent and the original GEM. After being a DJ for 15 years he spent much of the 80s and 90s at GEM behind his desk looking after the music, the legendary Jingles, and the DJs.

We all focus on the same musical decades we did when we were first on the radio, 100s of years of music knowledge and passion to serve a mature audience not catered for by other British stations. Our listeners prefer their radio without the ‘yap’, endless travel news and sport of modern radio.

Broadcasting 24 hours a day, with the best of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and New Gold It really is “Radio Like It Used To Be!”

Original DJs