What’s the story …

Independent Radio News had a distinctive take on the news in the 20 years from the start of Independent Radio in 1973 to the 1990 Broadcasting Act, the time period covered by the LBC/IRN archive. One of the questions raised by the LBC/IRN Digitisation project is what news coverage were considered particularly representative of the IRN style or important to LBC/IRN journalists.

The project has access to two sources, annual reviews of the year which picked the best if IRN output and reviews produced at the various milestones for IRN. The project has just completed an incremental update of the Timeline based on a 20 year review produced in 1993 (Rose & Crook). To give a flavour of key stories:

  • The six-day siege of the Iranian Embassy in Knightsbridge – 1980 – ends dramatically as officers of the SAS conduct a spectacularly successful raid on the building. LBC reporters Malcolm Brabant and Peter Dealey capture the moment in an extraordinary ‘live’ broadcast using a mobile phone. The Guardian’s Val Arnold-Foster comments on “LBC’s  excellent, excited reports”.
  • A wave of civil disorder hits British cities. LBC/IRN reporters cover the Toxteth riots in Liverpool – 1981.
  • PC Yvonne Fletcher is shot dead by a gunman firing from the Libyan embassy in St James’s Square. She was on duty during a demonstration against Colonel Gaddafi. Antonia Higgs covered the event ‘live’ for IRN – 1984.

There are of course many others which the project hopes to identify by  talking with former LBC/IRN staff.


Rose, C. and Crook, T., [1993]. LBC News 1973-1993. (audio tape). London : Independent Radio Drama Productions.


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