Kiss (UK radio station)

For other radio stations, see Kiss FM (disambiguation).
City London, Severn Estuary and East Anglia
Broadcast area United Kingdom:
London, Severn Estuary, East Anglia (FM);
National (DAB)
Slogan The Beat of the UK
Frequency FM
- 100.0 MHz (London)
- 101.0, 97.2 MHz (South Wales & the West)
- 105.6, 106.1, 106.4, 107.7 MHz (East of England)
- 11D (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
- 12A (Scotland)
Sky: 0178
Virgin Media: 963
Freeview: 713
First air date 22 October 1990
Format Rhythmic CHR
Audience share 2.2% (December 2012, )
Owner Bauer Radio
Sister stations Absolute Radio
Heat Radio
The Hits
Kerrang Radio
Planet Rock

Kiss is a UK radio station which is broadcasting on FM and National DAB, specialising in pop, hip hop, R&B, urban and electronic dance music. It also broadcasts on DAB Digital Radio around the UK & nationally on Freeview, Sky and Virgin Media. Owned by Hamburg based Bauer Media Group, Kiss forms part of Bauer's National portfolio of radio brands. Kiss spin-off brands include Kisstory and Kiss Fresh.


Kiss FM began in October 1985 as a pirate radio station, broadcasting first to South London then across the whole city, on 94FM. The station had gained a large audience by the time it was awarded a legitimate licence in 1990. ″The team which transformed KISS 94 FM to KISS 100FM included Lyn Champion, a BBC Radio 1 producer and UK Dance promo producer, who in the early 1980s had started a weekly column in London's City Limits magazine listing pirate radio shows from the mighty JFM, Invicta and K-Jazz. Lyn was brought in to help write the original proposal in 1989 and was Head of Talks responsible for all spoken word output on the new KISS 100 FM. The[1] British Broadcasting Act of 1990 (the start of Thatcher's de-regulation programme) abolished the ″IBA″ which had enshrined community and spoken word programming within the licence, so KISS 100 FM missed the opportunity to initiate the 20 year wave of documentary series and cultural broadcasting about R&B based music, jazz, reggae, blues, electro and rap which was intended within original legally approved brief ″[2]″. This material had never been broadcast in the UK on radio or TV and this was a key reason the station received an IBA license. A missed opportunity indeed as it became the standard fare of every major broadcaster through the 1990s and noughties. Lyn Champion was the first to leave as a result, followed by such icons as Norman Jay. Lyn lectures extensively about media de-regulation and content.

Everyone during Kiss 94's pirate period had stickers in their cars, and the station had a cult following across Greater London, with a ready made and committed audience plus about 46 specialist DJs″. It was suggested that the station had commanded almost 500,000 listeners while operating as an unlicensed pirate station. Kiss FM was established by Gordon 'Mac' McNaeece (later its Managing Director until December 1997) and his friends; Tosca, Pyers Easton and George Power. Gordon Mac approached a successful London club promoter, Guy Wingate, to discuss ways of improving the Kiss FM profile. As a result, Wingate launched the very successful Kiss nights at the Wag Club (which included the first ever acid house party, an idea put forward by Kiss DJs Colin Faver and Danny Rampling). These nights increased the station's credibility with its target audience and Wingate joined the Kiss team, followed shortly thereafter by Lindsay Wesker.

Kiss 100's iconic logo 22.10.1990 to 23.12.1998

Kiss was 'owned' by Gordon Mac and in 1986 he sold shares to 10 of the DJs, including Tim Westwood, Jonathan More, Norman Jay, Trevor Nelson and others. Gordon Mac, Wesker and Wingate, the team of DJ's and a large number of volunteers took the station forward through a combination of grim determination and clever marketing. In 1988, the Department of Trade And Industry advertised the first new radio licence in London for many years and Kiss FM mounted a strong campaign to be awarded this licence. Despite public support, the licence was awarded to Jazz FM (now Smooth Radio). In the weekend that followed the announcement of the award, the Kiss team roamed London soliciting signatures for a public petition that was delivered on the Monday morning to the then Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd.

New licences were subsequently advertised and this time Kiss, with significant public and listener support, was awarded one of these.[3]

On 1 September 1990 Kiss relaunched as a legal station, with its studio and offices located on the Holloway Road, and financial support from EMAP. Many of the station's past DJs have become influential in popular music, including Paul 'Trouble' Anderson, Tuff Jam, Trevor Nelson, Judge Jules, Chris Philips, Dave Pearce, Sarah HB, Steve Jackson, Colin Dale, Norman Jay, Nick Power, Richie Rich, Coldcut, Tony De Vit, Jazzie B, Gilles Peterson, Pete Wardman, Hixxy & Sharkey, Slipmatt, Graham Gold, Squirrel and DJ Vibes.

1999 rebranding and criticism

EMAP took full control of Kiss 100 as early as 1992, but there was no significant rebranding of Kiss 100 and the Kiss brand until 1998. The rebranding resulted in a new logo being adopted in 1999. EMAP wanted to align Kiss 100 with the rest of its radio operations and to do so, Mark Story (previously of Magic 105.4) was engaged in January 1999 as the new Director of Music Programming. At the same time, the Kiss studios and offices was moved from its original roots to EMAP's main premises in Central London. These changes led to criticism from both former presenters and listeners alike, concerned that Kiss 100 was losing its musical direction.

Kiss 100's logo from 24 December 1998 to 28 March 2013.

One of Kiss 100's most popular DJs, Steve Jackson, was sacked in December 1998, which was followed by a high-profile court case.[4] At the same time, a number of other founding DJs decided to quit the station in protest at the changes being implemented,[5] whilst others were lured away by the increasingly dance-oriented BBC Radio 1. Many listeners equate Gordon Mac's final show on 28 March 1998 and subsequent departure from the station as the spiritual end of the original Kiss.

Ofcom record fine

In June 2006, Kiss 100 was fined a record fee for any UK commercial radio station of £175,000 by media regulator Ofcom. Ofcom punished Kiss 100 for "numerous and serious breaches" of broadcasting codes after receiving 10 complaints from April to November 2005. They involved prank calls on the Bam Bam breakfast show where consent was not sought from the "victims" and controversial material aired when children were likely to be listening. Kiss 100 said it accepted the findings and apologised for any offence [6]

March 2013 relaunch

Emap introduced a second major revamp of the Kiss brand on 6 September 2006.[7] This included a new logo designed by ODD, a renewed focus on dance music, more specialist shows and a new website for all 3 Kiss stations at replacing the previous website at

The relaunch was implemented simultaneously with the rebranding of Kiss 100's sister dance stations, Vibe 101 and Vibe 105-108 as Kiss 101 and Kiss 105-108 respectively. Their programme content is the same as that of Kiss 100, but with advertising and traffic information relevant to their broadcast areas.

The changes at Kiss 100 were introduced to address falling listener figures and to keep the station competitive in the highly contested London market.

Recent times

In December 2010, Ofcom approved the request from Bauer Radio to drop local programming content from the three Kiss stations, creating a national service on the condition that Kiss would be available on 35 DAB multiplexes around the UK on the day local information is dropped, rising to 38 within 3 months of the changes.[8]

On 27 December 2012, Kiss 100 appeared nationally on Digital One's national DAB multiplex.[9]

In February 2013, Kiss owner Bauer Media confirmed it will review the transmission of the station on local stereo DAB slots in favour of a national mono channel, running at 80 kbit/s.[10]

Notable presenters

Kiss Breakfast with Rickie, Melvin & Charlie

The weekday breakfast show is presented by Rickie Haywood Williams, Melvin Odoom and Charlie Hedges, with producer Adam K, who took over the slot from Robin Banks in May 2007. He in turn replaced the previous long serving breakfast host Bam Bam (real name Peter Poulton) in April 2006, moving from the drive-time slot. The original breakfast show team lasted two years, composed of Graham Gold, Mark Webster and Sarah HB. Graham stayed with the station as he was already presenting the Kiss 100 Dance Chart and later took over the shows of Judge Jules and Danny Rampling before being the first presenter of Friday Night Kiss which aired across all the E-Map Big City Stations. Mark returned to TV whilst Sarah went to Radio 1. Bam Bam left shortly after the station received a record fine from the industry regulator, Ofcom after a series of breaches of the broadcasting code.[6]

The Londoners were plucked from obscurity to front the Kiss 100 morning slot in a trial run in the summer of 2006. According to latest data, the duo had 776,000 listeners each week.[11] Overall the station now has 1.71 million listeners, and a 4.6 percent share, in the first three months of 2009.[12]

Patrick Forge

Patrick Forge hosted a two-hour show on Sunday nights from 0100-0300. He played Soul Fusion, Acid jazz and associated forms, along with more modern records with underground jazzy, soulful sounds. He is one of the longest serving hosts of a show on the station, as he joined near the time Kiss turned from a pirate radio station into a commercial operator and left in 2010

John Digweed

From September 2000 to January 2011, John Digweed hosted a two-hour show featuring progressive house and trance. The first hour featured music played by Digweed, either mixed live or recorded from one of his past gigs. The second hour was a guest mix by a different artist each week. Guests on the show often include other world-famous DJs and new talents, such as Sasha, Sander Kleinenberg, Desyn Masiello, and James Hip hop

DJ Hype

DJ Hype currently hosts a one-hour drum and bass show every Wednesday from 2300 GMT. The show features the latest promo releases and also interviews and guest mixes.


Between November 2000 and August 2014, DJ EZ hosted a weekly UK garage show that included current and classic tracks from the UKG scene. Between March and November 2008, he hosted a second weekly show focusing predominantly on Bassline. DJ EZ is a highly respected DJ in the UK garage scene and has released several compilation CDs entitled Pure Garage.

Logan Sama

Logan Sama hosted the first dedicated Grime show on legal radio every Monday night between the hours of 12pm-1am. Acting as a platform for some of the most exciting British underground MCing talent, the show had seen artists such as Dizzee Rascal, Kano, Wiley, Lethal B and Roll Deep who all made several appearances. As a vital source of new music from the British grime scene, the show had regularly pulled in a large and dedicated listener-ship over its 3-year history. In 2014, Sama left the station to join BBC Radio 1Xtra for MistaJam's 60 Minute Mix for his show on the network.[13] Logan Sama also had a show that ran for three months on the station.[14]

Norway and Finland

In 26 February 2016, Kiss was launched in Norway and Finland.[15] Content is managed by local teams. In Finland, Kiss is broadcast on FM and in Norway with Kisstory is broadcast in DAB+ (48 kbit/s).[16]

See also


  1. "Professional Studies for Screen-Based Media". Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  2. Hebditch, Stephen (1991). "AM/FM - Spring 1990". TQM Communications.
  3. Hartley-Brewer, Julia (18 August 1999). "Kiss DJ sacked 'for being black'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  4. "News | The Big Kiss-Off". Nme.Com. 1999-01-24. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  5. 1 2 "Kiss FM handed record radio fine". BBC News. 20 June 2006. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  6. Day, Julia (4 September 2006). "Kiss and shake up". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  7. Today, Radio (2010). "Kiss allowed to go national". Radio Today.
  8. Kiss appears on Digital One
  9. Today, Radio (2013). "Kiss to drop local DAB, Bauer confirms". Radio Today.
  10. Tristan O'Carroll (7 May 2009). "RAJAR Q1 2009: Johnny and Lisa consolidate Capital FM's hold on the London breakfast radio show top slot - Media news". Media Week. Retrieved 3 March 2013.
  11. Plunkett, John (7 May 2009). "Rajars: Johnny Vaughan and Lisa Snowdon extend London breakfast lead". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  12. "Logan Sama takes over for the Sixty Minute Mix, Jarreau Vandal World Premiere, MistaJam - BBC Radio 1Xtra". BBC. Retrieved 2016-05-08.
  13. "Logan Sama to cover Sian Anderson's 1xtra show until February | Keepin It Grimy". Retrieved 2016-05-08.

External links

Coordinates: 51°30′58″N 0°08′18″W / 51.51598°N 0.13844°W / 51.51598; -0.13844

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