London Greek Radio is celebrating 27 years since it went on air on November 13th 1989, transmitting to the huge community of Greek and Cypriot listeners, and not only. To put it this way, using our geeky style ‘Greek-y’ statistics to break this down…
This is the equivalent to 324 months, 1,408 weeks and 9,862 days to be exact…
We at London Greek Radio are celebrating our second anniversary in as many weeks after our last October 8th birthday in which LGR was first launched on-air in 1983, marking the beginning of a long epic phase of the UK’s only 24-7 Greek hits radio station.
The sometimes turbulent history is absolutely fascinating; during the 1980’s LGR survived a number of police raids in attempts to close the station down, forcing it to relocate premises regularly, from above a Greek delicatessen in Muswell Hill to the up-stairs of a Dj’s house in Highbury.
LGR was not like other ‘illegal’ entities it was itself a pioneer for ethnic radio for listeners, serving the Greek speakers of London. LGR’s very being was definitely innovative and persisted despite the obvious drawbacks. LGR faced may problems and hard times but persisted and look at us today!
Ms Soulla Violaris is one of our longest serving Dj’s who started in the early days gave us her personal account. During one of her live shows she was interrupted by the authorities resulting in her arrest. She was taken to magistrate’s court and ordered to pay a fine. She felt it was right to continue at whatever cost or risk and her dedication and loyalty lead her to occasionally put in 9 hour shifts. The staff and Dj’s certainly braved much adversity and went to great lengths during the 1980’s to keep London Greek Radio being heard on air.
In a very interesting book ‘London’s Pirate Pioneers‘ this explains how a year before LGR was awarded its legal licence, authorities made their largest ever raid on them.
The biggest action ever taken by the authorities against LGR came in 1988 when the police raided LGR’s offices, yet again, only this time they confiscated all paperwork related to the station. In a case at Highgate Magistrates Court in July, companies and staff associated with London Greek Radio were fined £13,900 plus £10,550 in costs and expenses.
After losing several hundred transmitters over the years, LGR was awarded the North London Community License, returning to the air on 13th November 1989. For the first three years they had to share the frequency with an African speaking station WNK who unfortunately went out of business soon after.
The licence was granted with the essential help of tens of thousands of people who signed petitions demanding the legitimacy of LGR. The public’s voice made it clear that there was a void and vital space to fulfil for the Greek Cypriot’s long, robust community in the UK.
The station’s iconic status is truly still relevant and very popular today, and the LGR family continues to grow and expand with talented radio hosts and DJ’s entertaining our community with Greek songs for every genre, that the Greeks are known to have in absolute abundance.
Given the huge advances in technology, LGR is live on 103.3 FM and can be found on DAB in Birmingham and Manchester adding many thousands of extra listeners every month. It can be downloaded from the App store and the Play store. Our vast audience is not only Greek speaking listeners but also English, Jewish, Albanian, Arab, Bulgarian, Turkish and Russian and so many more who are constantly tuned in.
It’s very exhilarating to know, LGR has by far the biggest downloads to on Tune In with listener statistics via our LGR App outweighing the other Cypriot radio stations based in Cyprus on the basis of the numbers. According to the current statistics, LGR is officially No.1 downloads on #TuneIn when comparing to the equivalent Cypriot stations…
This fact about London Greek Radio is a fact to be proud of.
Happy Birthday LGR! May you live to be 100 and continue your hard-work; delivering informative and entertaining formats to your listeners.
Article written by Tony Neophytou
Nikki Christou aged 12 is born in London and is a Greek Cypriot. She is truly a heroic and a brave young girl and her bravery has been recognised by the Pride of Britain Awards. Nikki has received the Child of Courage Award and was presented to her in the popular TV event which was broadcast on ITV.
At the age of six, young Nikki and her parents noticed visible veins on the right side of her face. She was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation (AVM), where there are abnormal connections between arteries and veins. The condition causes intense pain, in most cases is incurable and leads to potentially fatal nosebleeds.
So far Nikki has undergone 28 operations and endured more than 300 hospital visits as doctors try to manage her condition.
Her ability to turn things around and extracting the positives have aided her not only in winning the award, but what she does for others. She has set up her own Youtube channel, which has attracted four millions viewers and she has seventy nine thousand subscribers. She creates videos out of anything she holds precious, gives make-up tips and offers advice to people struggling to cope with chronic illnesses. Above all she feels comfortable talking about her condition to many people and this way, Nikki is incredibly helping people who may have their own struggles and illnesses.
Nikki through the #prideofbritain Twitter page said, ”I try to teach people that beauty lies within,” very inspiring we think and totally agree with her opinion here.
”People contact me who have AVMs and other confidence issues and I want my channel to be a community where people find that they can imperfectly perfect in their own special way. I’ve found people who have become my best friends. It’s nice to know you’re not as alone as you think.”
Nikki has now been recognised by The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards, which, in partnership with TSB, honour Britain’s unsung heroes.
Nikki collected her award for Child of Courage at an all-out celebrity event at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel where the guests included Prime Minister Theresa May, Prince Charles, and Simon Cowell. Though particularly, she was very pleased to have it presented to her by her favourite TV person Mary Berry, who hosts ‘The Great British Bake Off’, accepting her award to a rapturous applause by the crowd.
With her family and supporters, Nikki has also raised almost £400,000 for research into AVM at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she has been treated, and the University College London.
”I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t get me down or make me angry,” Nikki continues,
”But you can be either negative and not enjoy life or be positive and block out all the negativity in your life and live a lovely, healthy, joyful and happy life.”
Nikki and her parents had few places to turn at first, due to her condition being so rare, so they started The Butterfly AVM charity to raise AVM awareness, support and funds for research.
Nikki adds: ”I want people who have an AVM in the future not to have to go through all the things my family I and other AVM survivors have gone through.”
We at London Greek Radio are proud of you Nikki Christou and wish you all the best in everything you do. Good health to you!
Article written by Tony Neophytou
Substantive discussion on a joint document with the positions of both the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side on the criteria for territorial adjustments begins on Thursday morning in Mont-Pelerin, Switzerland, where Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci as well as their negotiating teams meet since Monday to discuss territory and all other outstanding issues interdependently.
The two sides’ negotiators, Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami, exchanged on Wednesday afternoon documents with the positions of each side on the territory criteria. The two leaders, who began discussing the criteria on Wednesday morning, met later in the afternoon and as Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides announced last night, it was decided that the positions of each side are written down in a single document, as happened with all aspects of the Cyprus problem.
According to the Spokesman the positions of the Greek Cypriot side will be written down in blue colour and those of the Turkish Cypriot side in red colour.
Christodoulides said that on Thursday morning substantive discussion begins on the basis of this document, adding that the aim is to reach an agreement on the criteria that will be used in order to draw a map.
Asked if there is enough time until Friday, when the talks are scheduled to conclude, to achieve progress, the spokesman said that if there is the necessary will at the negotiating table then there is sufficient time.
Responding to another question, the spokesman said that discussions in Switzerland are not the end of the road. Asked about the setting of a date for a multilateral conference, he said that President Anastasiades was clear on this issue during his televised press conference before going to Switzerland, reiterating that there must be an agreement on the criteria that will then be used in order to draw a map.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led negotiations since May last year, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof. Discussions in Mont Pelerin will continue until the 11th of November.
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On Saturday 29th October, we had the pleasure of welcoming Giorgos Papadopoulos to the LGR airwaves for an interview with radio presenter, Paris Tsoulfas.
Giorgos Papadopoulos is a singer of Greek Cypriot origin. After three successful EPs he released his first album and has since gained huge popularity and following in Cyprus, Greece & the UK. Whilst we all know Papadopoulos as a talented singer, he is also a songwriter and has written songs for many popular Greek artists, including Helena Paparizou, Giorgos Mazonakis, Tamta, Kostas Martakis, Panos Kiamos, Kaiti Garbi, Melina Aslanidou and Notis Sfakianakis to name a few.
To listen to the interview, which includes chat about Papadopoulos latest song, “Oloi Mou Lene” and talk of recent collaborations with Natasa Theodoridou and Melina Aslanidou, listen below:
Article written by London Greek Radio
The destruction of Cyprus’ cultural heritage in the northern Turkish occupied part of the island was highlighted by the Conservative north London MPs Matthew Offord and David Burrowes during a House of Commons debate earlier in the week.
Their statements were made in the presence of the Secretary of State for Culture Karen Bradley during the second reading of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) bill. The aim of the bill is to enable the United Kingdom to implement the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954.
Offord said that “Cyprus has witnessed its cultural and religious heritage fall prey to the policy of pillage, destruction and desecration instituted after the illegal invasion of the island in 1974, and during the subsequent and continuing occupation.”
The Hendon MP, one of the closest parliamentarian friends of Cyprus in the UK, spoke of churches, monasteries, archaeological sites, libraries, museums and private collections of religious art and antiquities in the occupied areas of Cyprus having been “systematically looted”.
He also pointed to the numerous antiquities from the northern part of Cyprus that have for years “flooded” the art treasure market of the world, as well as to removed mosaics, frescoes and thousands of icons, which are now “practically lost in the international market of smuggled art works.”
Offord made a special reference to the apsidal mosaic of “inestimable” value at the Panagia Kanakaria church, which was removed, stolen and broken up in 1979. After pieces reemerged in 1988 and the involvement of the notorious Turkish art dealer Aydin Dikmen was established, these pieces have now been returned and are exhibited at the Byzantine Museum in Nicosia.
The Conservative MP told the House that since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus 77 churches have been converted into mosques after being stripped of all icons and church furnishings. “The others have been pillaged, destroyed, used as stables, warehouses, garages, arsenals, mortuaries, hotels, art galleries and night clubs or simply abandoned to their fate… That number, however, does not include 50 sacred buildings whose condition is still not known because they are located in zones under direct military control, and others that have been demolished,” said Matthew Offord.
The MP also congratulated his constituent Doros Partasides, a well-known UK Cypriot photographer whose work has documented churches on the island. As Mr Offord said, “his invaluable work documents the destruction that has occurred over many years”. An exhibition with these photographs by Mr Partasides was hosted in the Parliament a few years ago.
In his contribution to the debate David Burrowes, MP for the Enfield-Southgate constituency with the most populous Cypriot community in the UK, said that along with Mr Offord he has seen the “appalling” acts of desecration and pillaging that have taken place in the northern part of Cyprus.
Burrowes said there was a link between the trafficking of human beings and the trafficking of cultural property. “There is the same disregard for people, for their faith, for their community and for their identity,” he said, adding that the issue at hand was human dignity.
He called for the UK to contribute to the voluntary fund administered by UNESCO and praised the work done by Tasoula Hadjitofi, a refugee from Famagusta, who through her organisation ‘Walk of Truth’ tries to restore pillaged treasures in areas of conflict and provide routes to reconciliation.
In his closing remarks, David Burrowes MP referred to his numerous constituents of Cypriot descent: “A considerable number of Cypriots live here in the UK, who have seen for themselves wanton destruction and pillaging of their heritage. That is why it is so important that we join together and make sure that this long-fought battle to ratify The Hague convention comes to fruition. We look forward to the unification of Cyprus in the long term, but in the meantime, we must make sure that people are held to account when they seek to profit from the proceeds of crimes of destruction.”
Article written by CNA
On Friday 28th October, London Greek Radio had the pleasure of welcoming Peggy Zina to the airwaves for an exclusive interview with our radio presenter Panagiotis Balalas.
Peggy made her recording debut in 1995 with her self-titled album. She has since released twelve studio albums and is a high-profile artist in the Greek music industry. On 14 March 2010, Alpha TV ranked Zina the 24th top-certified female artist in the nation’s phonographic era (since 1960), totalling nine (five at the time) platinum and two gold records.
For those who missed the interview, you can listen to it below:
Article written by London Greek Radio
Marquee Events International are delighted to present Lefteris Pantazis at Shaka Zulu in Camden.
On Thursday 24th November, Lefteris Pantazis will be performing all his biggest hits in a spectacular live event. Doors open at 7.30pm and the night will continue until 2am.
The night will also include live performances from Mario Constantinou, Dora Georgouli and Anneta… followed by a full show by Lefteris Pantazis! The night will then continue till 2am with music from one of our DJs and will also include a performance by Oriental Dancer, Alexandra.
Printed tickets available from: Aroma Patisserie, Wilton Patisserie, Greek City and Flames Restaurant. Ticket pricing is as follows: £30 Standard Ticket – £40 With Booth – £75 Ticket includes VIP booth & 3 course Shaka Zulu dinner.
To book a VIP Booth, including a 3 Course Shaka Zulu Dinner call us on 0739 132 3836. Standard tickets are £30pp and can also be purchased online via the link below.
Securely book your standard £30 tickets here:
To buy tickets for this event please visit our events page: ME International Presents… Lefteris Pantazis Live tickets from Skiddle.
Sell tickets online: Skiddle Promotion Centre
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