Call for radio show return

AVID listeners of an axed late night radio show are campaigning for its return, the Evening Star can reveal today. BBC Radio's The Nightshift started in October 2002.

AVID listeners of an axed late night radio show are campaigning for its return, the Evening Star can reveal today.

BBC Radio's The Nightshift started in October 2002. The show ran on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, Three Counties, Northampton and Norfolk, but was taken off air in June when funding was diverted to daytime programming.

The decision upset listeners from across the eastern region and many have since campaigned for its return.

Roy Harding, 61, of the Pinewood area of Ipswich tuned in most nights since the programme began. He plans to write to the BBC asking for the return of the show to the airwaves.


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He said: "It was a valuable service. I worked nights for the Royal Mail and drove from Ipswich to Northampton most nights.

"The Nightshift relived the boredom and kept me informed, the traffic information was very useful."

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Now semi-retired Mr Harding said the programme provided a service for those unable to sleep and helped truckers and drivers in the region.

He added: "If I am out at that time I would tune in. Lots of friendships were made through the programme. I would like to see it come back."

Ipswich based BBC Radio Suffolk broadcast the show between 1am and 5am but a spokeswoman said BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and BBC Radio Norfolk recorded it.

David Martin, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire station editor said the show, presented by Sue Marchant and Keith Greentree, might be brought back of funding could be found and if editors agreed.

He said: "I would love to bring it back. Taking The Nightshift off air was not a decision me and my fellow editors took lightly.

Mr Martin said he had battled for six months to save the programme before it was axed.

Former presenter Sue Marchant said she missed the show and was stunned by the support she had received from listeners.

She said: "I miss my nightshift family. There is a wonderful audience The Nightshift was filling the gap for, whether they were in their working life or in their normal life. There are many insomniacs. If it is to be reinstated I would be over the moon."

Ely couple Paul Barr and Brenda Hall are leading a campaign to bring the show back on air. Anyone interested in joining the campaign can call them on 07900 845885 or 07787 551625.

Do you want The Nightshift brought back? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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