About UsVoted “Best Radio Station” at Urban Music Awards (2015) and nominated UMA 2016 'Best Radio Station (2016)', Colourful Radio is a unique independent family-friendly, public-spirited, 24/7 music and conversation multi-platform radio station paid for by adverts.
The name 'colourful' simply means 'distinctive in character'. In his momentous 'I have a Dream' address on 28 August 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King Jnr. talked about judging a person by the 'content of their character'. Call it creative licence, we have made it our mission to be consistently distinctive in the content of our programmes, our talent roster, and our listener-base. The name is also characteristic of our main broadcast footprint – London, which is by definition ‘colourful’ with over 300 languages spoken in it and more than 50 non-indigenous communities.
Colourful Radio has defined programme formats - original and inclusive programming including audio documentaries, drama, music charts, LIVE@ outside broadcasts, and multi-genre music shows all moderated by a vibrant talent line-up.
Some of Colourful Radio's unique innovations include its own automatic listener catch-up service delivered within 15 minutes of the end of each show and accessible in just two clicks; a customised and unique mobile App allowing access to live stream, presenter contacts, plus 24/7 social media engagement.
As the 'best radio station' (by votes) for a colourful London, Colourful Radio is accessible across multiple platforms currently including digital radio, apps, mobile, and social media, with other platforms being sought.
The analogue era of broadcasting as a pirate radio station was never an attractive proposition to our founder, Kofi Kusitor. Kofi started Colourful Radio in 2002 as an 'internet audio stream' (now widely known as internet radio) under the hugely popular and award-winning Black Britain Online, Black Enterprise Awards and The Colourful Network brands. This was at a time when streaming technology was in its infancy. Internal research backed informally by others in the industry suggest that Colourful Radio was probably the first commercial internet radio station in the UK and possibly Europe.
At a time when 99% of commercial radio stations' format was music-based and London had just one commercial talk radio station, our founder hoped to fulfil a single unmet need - to provide a conversation platform for under-represented communities, particularly African Caribbeans, completely excluded - or absent - from life-changing public debate and activity to become involved and better engaged. As such Colourful Radio's format started off as mostly talk.
Having won digital broadcast licences from broadcast regulator Ofcom in August 2004, our founder decided to engage a team of accomplished journalists and presenters to anchor live shows. So, on 17th October 2005 the station went live with its first live pilot for a week of broadcast during Black History Month. This pilot proved hugely popular than anticipated, which led to our founder's decision to exploit the opportunity on a more permanent basis. Then began the station's trajectory to the 'best radio station' in London.
In 2006, our founder was nationally recognised with an MBE for ‘Services to Business’ by Her Majesty The Queen in the 2006 New Year’s Honours List having been at the forefront of marketing thousands of non-indigenous entrepreneurs and corporate executives through Black Britain Online, Black Enterprise Awards and Colourful Radio.
In 2007, Colourful Radio was selected by 4Radio (then owned by Channel 4 Television) to be a service provider alongside Virgin Radio and Disney on its national digital radio platform. A year later with 4Radio abandoning it's plans, Colourful Radio won space on the London-wide DAB platform.
Launched on DAB on 2 March 2009, and 5 years later with broadcasting fees for DAB having risen year-on-year beyond the burgeoning independent station, Colourful Radio was forced to withdraw from the multiplex in January 2014. Colourful Radio was then restructured and has since been led by a fresh team.
After over 770,000 online votes the 13th annual Urban Music Awards (UMA), on 21 November 2015, announced Colourful Radio as voted 'Best Radio Station' in London - the first independent radio station to win the award.
Our Awards & Profile
2015 Colourful Radio Voted 'Best Radio Station' - Urban Music Awards
2015 Media UK - Colourful beats 1Xtra, Capital Xtra and KISS - https://media.info/radio/news/colourful-beats-1xtra-capital-xtra-and-kiss
2014 Station Of The Year - International Achievement Awards
2012 BEFFTA - Radio Station of the Year 2012
2011 One of the most successful online radio stations in Britain - Tim Crook, The Sound Handbook
2011 PURE - Digital Station of the Month July 2011
2010 The Times Newspaper Playlist - Top 10 (7/10) UK Digital Station 2010
2009 Colourful Radio makes for bright listening - The Guardian
2006 Press Gazette - Digital Talk Station Aims For Multicultural Audience - http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/digital-talk-station-aims-for-multicultural-audience/
Radio Centre - 'Public Service Impact Of Commercial Radio 2011'
"Commercial radio continues to hold a wide appeal to a diverse range of cultural communities, reaching two thirds of ethnic minority listeners as opposed to the BBC which reaches less than half of the ethnic minority listenership (Rajar) ... Colourful Radio are just some examples of commercial stations that bring together an ethnic community of listeners. "