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Hits Radio launches across UK

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New digital radio station Hits Radio has launched across the UK on DAB digital radio.

The station has a line-up including Gethin Jones, Gemma Atkinson and Sarah-Jane Crawford. Hits Radio says it is “the first major national commercial digital radio station to broadcast out of Manchester”.

The launch sees Key 103, the commercial radio station for Manchester, become a localised version of Hits Radio in the city. Hits Radio Manchester will still provide news, travel updates and local information for residents.

Artists such as Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran, Little Mix, Ellie Goulding, Rag N Bone Man, P!nk, Ariana Grande, Coldplay and Katy Perry will be played on the new station. Hits Radio’s owner says it wants to give listeners “an entertaining and fun escape.”

Gethin Jones, who is best known for Blue Peter, and Gemma Atkinson, already a radio presenter and recently a finalist on Strictly Come Dancing, are the hosts of the new breakfast show. They will be joined by Dave Vitty (Comedy Dave), formerly of Chris Moyles’ show on BBC Radio 1.

Drivetime will be hosted by Wes Butters and an evening show will be presented by Sarah-Jane Crawford. The Xtra Factor host will have topical updates and be joined by celebrity guests.

Graham Bryce, Group Managing Director, Hits Radio Network said “Manchester has one of the biggest community spirits and boldest attitudes in the UK, so it’s high time that a big national commercial station made it its home. We are going to offer something new and exciting – both to Manchester and across the UK”.

The first track played on the station was Take That’s Greatest Day. The song was chosen by listeners in a poll before today’s launch.

Former sister station Key 2 has been renamed as ‘Key Radio’. Digital station The Hits has been replaced with Hits Radio.

Hits Radio is available across the UK on DAB digital radio, Freeview, online and in smartphone and tablet apps. In Manchester the station is also available on FM.

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