Heart North West

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Heart North West
The Heart Network logo.svg
City Manchester
Broadcast area North West England
Branding This is Heart
Slogan Turn up the Feel Good!
Frequency 105.4 MHz /
DAB: 11B Liverpool
12A Lancashire
11C Manchester
First air date 8 September 1998
Format Adult Contemporary
Owner Global
Sister stations Capital Manchester
Smooth North West
XFM Manchester
Website Heart North West

Heart North West is a regional radio station owned and operated by Global Radio as part of the Heart network. The station broadcasts to North West England from studios at Spinningfields in Manchester.

Originally known as Century Radio and Century FM, and from 2009 Real Radio North West, the station relaunched as Heart North West on Tuesday 6 May 2014.


Century Radio[edit]

The station opened as Century Radio on 8 September 1998 as the second Century station in the country (the first being Gateshead-based 100-102 Century Radio). Owned and operated by Border Television, Century was founded by managing director John Myers, who had also established the north east station. Like the first station, Myers also presented the breakfast show under the pseudonym John Morgan.

The station's launch was the subject of an episode of a BBC Two fly-on-the-wall documentary Trouble at the Top, mainly following Myers. The episode, entitled "Degsy Rides Again", showed Myers' attempts to train lunchtime phone-in host Derek Hatton, a controversial local ex-politician who had never before presented on radio. Myers was not confident enough in Hatton for him to appear on pre-launch publicity, although his show "The Degsy Debate" performed well at the first RAJAR. Also amongst its launch presenters was controversial shock jock Scottie McClue.[1]

The documentary also covered the station's acquisition of exclusive commentary rights for Manchester United F.C.'s games. They remained United's official radio partner for almost a decade until selling the rights to Xfm Manchester for the 2007–08 season.

Myers left the group to head GMG Radio, overseeing the launch of the similar Real Radio brand. Capital Radio bought the Century network, and was subsequently acquired by GCap Media. GMG Radio acquired the Century stations in October 2006, reuniting Myers and John Simons (programme director on the original Gateshead station) with the brand.[2]

Real Radio[edit]

Century was re-branded as Real Radio on Monday 30 March 2009.[3]

On 15 October 2012, Real Radio announced the station would increase its amount of networked programming. Weekday daytime shows, from 10 am to 4 pm and presented by Darren Parks and Debbie Mac, were networked across all Real Radio stations on Monday 5 November 2012 with further networked shows introduced at the weekend.[4]


On 25 June 2012 it was announced Global Radio (the owner of stations such as Capital and Heart) had bought GMG Radio. The former GMG stations, including Real Radio, continued to operate separately as 'Real and Smooth Limited' until 1 April 2014.[5][6]

On 6 February 2014, Global Radio announced it would be rebranding all Real Radio stations as Heart.[7] Real Radio North West began a gradual transition to the Heart branding on 24 March 2014 and phased out the Real Radio branding on Sunday 20 April 2014. On 1 May 2014, local programming moved from Laser House in Salford to nearby Exchange Quay, sharing facilities with sister stations Capital Manchester and XFM Manchester. The full relaunch as Heart North West took place at 6 am on Tuesday 6 May 2014.

On 12 June 2017, local programming moved from Salford to new studios at the XYZ building in the Spinningfields district of Manchester City Centre. Heart North West shares facilities with sister station Capital Manchester and two Communicorp-owned stations, Smooth North West and XS Manchester.


Local programming is produced and broadcast from Heart's Manchester studios from 6 am to 10 am and from 4 pm to 7 pm on weekdays, 6 am to 10 am on Saturdays and noon to 4 pm on Sundays. All networked programming originates from Global Radio's London headquarters, including the syndicated Vodafone Big Top 40 on Sunday afternoons.

The station's local presenters are Joel Ross and Lorna Bancroft (Heart Breakfast), Russ Morris (weekday drivetime and Saturday breakfast) and Faye Bamford (Sunday afternoons).


Heart North West broadcasts hourly regional news bulletins from 6 am to 7 pm on weekdays and from 6 am to noon at weekends - including two extended 12 minutes weekday programmes, Heart Morning News (6 am – 6:12 am) and Heart Nightly News (6:45 pm – 6:57 pm) - plus headlines on the half hour during breakfast and drivetime shows.[8]

National news updates air hourly from Global's London headquarters at all other times. Global's Manchester newsroom also produces news bulletins for Capital Manchester, Smooth North West and XS Manchester (owned by Communicorp).

Notable former presenters[edit]


  1. ^ "Degsy Rides Again", Trouble at the Top, BBC Two, March 1999
  2. ^ "Fellowship for John Simons". Radio Today. 2006-12-18. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-01-06.
  3. ^ "End of an Era for Century". Radio Today. 18 Dec 2008. Archived from the original on 2009-01-23.
  4. ^ Real Radio introduces networked daytimes, Radio Today, 15 October 2012
  5. ^ GMG Radio sold to Global for £50m Mark Sweeney, The Guardian, 25 June 2012
  6. ^ Global Radio seals £50m purchase of GMG Radio Maisie McCabe, Media Week, 25 June 2012
  7. ^ Martin, Roy (2014-02-06). "Communicorp buys 8 Global stations". RadioToday. Retrieved 2014-02-06.
  8. ^ Heart North West public file
  9. ^ West, Gillian (8 March 2013). "Boots UK launches radio and online programme hosted by Kate Thornton". The Drum. Retrieved 11 March 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°28′10″N 2°17′22″W / 53.4695°N 2.2895°W / 53.4695; -2.2895