Chill (radio station)

Broadcast area United Kingdom
Frequency DAB: 11B (Greater London) / (Leicester)
First air date 21 February 2005
Format Ambient; Chill-out
Audience share 0.1% (March 2008, [1])
Owner Global Radio
Sister stations The Arrow, Capital, Capital Xtra, Classic FM, Gold, Heart, LBC, Real Radio, Real Radio XS, Smooth Radio, XFM

Chill is a British digital radio station dedicated to chill out, ambient and trip hop music.

The station

Chill Radio broadcasts online and via numerous mobile applications, and on DAB in London, Leicester and Nottingham. The station's aim is to help listeners relax. It is owned by Global Radio.

It broadcasts 24 hours a day and, as of July 2009, features no news bulletins or commercials, although there is some sponsored programming. Chill originally had no presenters, interspersing tracks with pre-recorded links featuring messages voiced by Davinia Palmer that reinforced the laidback atmosphere of the station. One of these memorably described the station as "T'ai chi for your ears".

In August 2006, the station launched its first regular programmes on weekday evenings, "The Garden of Delights", presented by Pete Lawrence and "The Deep End", presented by Paul Noble, two of the organisers of The Big Chill festival. It also introduced a nightly programme made up of listener requests, and inherited the Chiller Cabinet sequence from its sister station Classic FM, which plays "ambient soundscapes, movie soundtracks and classically inspired chillout music".

The station encourages interaction with its listeners, who suggest new songs and artists for the playlist, as well as relaxation techniques, via the Chill website and Myspace. In March 2012 it attracted 229,000 listeners per week.[2]

It was announced on 28 August 2009 that Chill Radio would be replaced in Edinburgh and Glasgow by LBC Radio.[3]


The station was launched in early 2005 although it's argued Chill went live as early as December 2004, as a means of filling empty slots on DAB multiplexes owned by GWR prior to its merger with Capital Radio. Group Corporate Development Director Gregory Watson and Programme Director Bern Leckie devised a format for a relaxing, ambient station, aimed at 18- to 35-year-olds.

On the station website, the founders claim, "We used to make compilation tapes for ourselves and friends to chill out to. That's where the idea for our station came from, and we make it the same way we made the tapes - listening to lots of music, swapping ideas, seeing what happens."[4]

In June 2006, Chill bid for its first analogue licence, for Bristol, citing the city's record in producing trip-hop artists such as Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky in support of its application. However, in September 2006, Ofcom awarded the licence to Canwest and its Original 106 format. It is not currently known if Global Radio will bid for any more analogue licences with the Chill format.

Late in 2006, Chill upgraded from a 32 kbit/s internet stream to a 128 kbit/s stream, offering internet listeners the same quality as the cable and satellite viewers.

The station stopped being broadcast on Sky and Virgin Media on 3 July 2007,[5] with other GCap stations Capital Disney, Core and Classic Gold Digital Network. It is speculated that this is connected with cost-cutting measures under previous owners GCap. In November 2008, Chill reappeared on Sky and Virgin Media, following the closure of jazz radio station TheJazz, using its old channel numbers on Sky and Virgin Media.

In March 2009, Chill ceased to broadcast in Leicester, Nottingham and west Wiltshire due to competition regulator compliance following the takeover of GCapMedia by Global Radio.[6]

In July 2009, Global Radio announced that Chill would lose many of its DAB slots on numerous local DAB ensembles across the UK to allow for an expansion of the Galaxy network, but would still broadcast in London, some parts of the West Midlands and central Scotland. A spokesman indicated that this move was also financially led.[7]

On 20 October 2009, it was announced by Bern Leckie[8] that Chill Radio has moved from stereo to mono output on DAB Radio in the London area. However the range in which Chill can be heard has slightly extended to an extra 20 miles or so from London.

Rajar figures for the third quarter of 2009 showed an increase of weekly listeners by 9,000, bringing total listenership to 209,000.[9]

On 15 July 2010, Chill ceased broadcasting on Virgin Media channel 961. On 8 June 2012, Chill ceased broadcasting on the Birmingham multiplex, leaving London as the only area where the station broadcasts on DAB Digital Radio. On 24 August 2012, Chill ceased broadcasting on Sky channel 0177.

In September 2014, TuneIn Radio announced that Chill Radio had received the 100k 'follower' mark, one of the most listened-to UK and worldwide stations, via its various apps and websites.

In September 2015, Global Radio Confirmed that Chill would return to DAB in Nottingham and Leicester, replacing XFM. This is because XFM is re-branding, and launching nationally on Digital one. [10] Since its return to DAB in Nottingham and Leicester, Chill can also be heard on DAB in Derby.


The Chill playlist is largely drawn from the mainstream end of chill out and ambient music, mixed with downtempo rock, vocal jazz and lounge tracks, film scores and the occasional classical piece.


A notable programme is The Chiller Cabinet - from Arctic Circle Radio

DAB multiplexes

Former multiplexes

Chill closed in March 2009 due to Office of Fair Trading ruling on the merger of GCap and Global Radio:

Chill closed from August 2009 on these multiplexes:[7][12]

Replaced with Galaxy:

Taken off air:

Replaced with LBC:

Closed on the following multiplex in June 2012:


  1. "RAJAR". RAJAR. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  2. "Chill: audience figures". Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  3. "Radio Broadcast Update August 2009". Ofcom. 28 August 2009. Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  4. "What we do ◊ Chilled Music ♬ Chill". Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  5. "GCap feels digital radio heat as Chill leaves Sky platform - Media news". Media Week<. 2008-01-08. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  6. "Myspace". 2013-07-16. Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  7. 1 2 "Chill disappears from DAB". 2009-07-30. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
  8. Retrieved 23 October 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. "". Retrieved 2013-10-20.
  11. "Stations". Retrieved 2013-09-28.
  12. "Radio Broadcast Update August 2009". Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 2009-08-28.

External links

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