We are a multi-award-winning, unique, independent 24/7 music and conversation digital radio service on DAB, Apps, TuneIn, and online at colourfulradio.com.
Doing it for the culture since 2002 through 'great MUSIC. engaging CONVERSATION'.
Our programmes are inclusive with format variety such as talk shows, audio documentaries, drama, and multi-genre music shows all anchored by a lively talent line-up.
We are the largest African-Caribbean owned commercial radio network in the UK.
What We Stand For
Our unique dual-format service is complementary (some say, disruptive) to the traditional radio market and consequently enables us to:
- operate a commercially viable radio service that guides listeners, while encouraging their enlightenment and enterprise
- broadcast unique programming that captivates listeners while at the same time creating an environment for sustaining advertisers and partners
In addition to our on-air activity, Colourful Radio also reaches listeners, fans and followers by organising its own, or by involvement in, events such as London South Bank University A-Leval Results & Clearing Day, African Fashion Week London, The Africa Centre Festival, Jus' Caribbean Festival, Black Business Show, Black Beauty & Fashion Show, PopUp Africa, Olympia Beauty, British Urban Film Festival, Lambeth College BIG Careers Day, Jamaica Day, Wray & Nephew Rum Tings, Rumfest, London Apprenticeships Fair, Unsigned London Festival, Lambeth Borough Council Community Awards, and Wandsworth Borough Council Jobs Fair, among others.
For 2018, we are supporting Male Cancer charity, Orchid.
A Colourful History
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 and Black Enterprise Awards all part of The Colourful Network brand. 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, Kofi 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.
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 and broadcasts in cities across the UK.
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 & Testimonials
- 2017 Colourful Radio Nominated 'Best Radio Station' - Urban Music Awards
- 2016 Colourful Radio Nominated 'Best Radio Station' - Urban Music Awards
- 2015 Colourful Radio Voted 'Best Radio Station' - Urban Music Awards
- 2015 Media UK - 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
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. "
See: Radio Centre
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