Celebrating Steve Barker On The Wire

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In May 2018, Steve Barker marks 40 years at BBC Radio Lancashire, where his legendary freeform show On The Wire continues to promote underground and new music every Saturday night at midnight.

To celebrate the anniversary this special audio portrait charts Steve’s hugely influential (and occasionally turbulent) four decades on air.

On The Wire was among the first to interview The Smiths and Depeche Mode; it played 808 State’s Pacific State and A Guy Called Gerald’s Voodoo Ray before anyone else; it even staged a free Fall gig at Clitheroe Castle.

It’s been threatened by BBC cuts – twice – and saved – twice – with the help of its fiercely loyal listeners across Lancashire and worldwide.

Greetings Music Lover features rare archive plus new interviews from On-U Sound’s Adrian Sherwood, Lee Scratch Perry, David Rodigan, Stuart Maconie, The Wire’s Tony Herrington and Derek Walmsley… plus various men and women who’ve worked at On The Wire over the years… and of course Steve Barker himself.

Produced by Steve Urquhart.
Premiered by The Wire magazine, May 2018 at

Explore On The Wire’s vast archive here:

Steve Barker working at BBC Radio Blackburn, 1970s

Steve Barker working at BBC Radio Lancashire, 2018

BBC Radio Lancashire press release, September 1984

steve urquhart

Best European Radio Music Programme (Nominee) -- Prix Europa, 2018

Best Music Producer (Winner) -- Audio Production Awards, 2018

Best Sound Designer (Winner) -- Audio Production Awards, 2015, 2016 and 2018

Best Documentary / Feature Maker (Nominee) -- Audio Production Awards, 2015 and 2016


The Community Award (Gold Winner) -- Sony Radio Academy Awards, 2009

© 2020 steve urquhart /

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