Friday 15th November 2019 marks a momentous milestone in the history of Planet Rock as we officially turn 20 years old!
Beginning life as one of the first digital only radio stations from our previous owners GWR, the first song that was played on our airwaves just seven weeks before the turn of the Millennium on 15th November 1999 was Deep Purple’s timeless anthem ‘Smoke on the Water’.
Now listened to by a whopping 1.2million rock music lovers a week, throughout Planet Rock's two-decade history we’ve prided ourselves on playing some of the greatest rock music together with showcasing the finest up-and-coming talent from across the globe.
Gene Simmons and the late-great Jon Lord visit Planet Rock HQ
Alongside our regular current presenters Paul Anthony, Wyatt, Darren Redick and Murray J, together with Phil Alexander, Danny Bowes, Alice Cooper, Joe Elliott, Bernard Doherty, Mark Jeeves, Sam Hughes, The Hairy Bikers and Andy Shier, Planet Rock has featured a plethora of guest presenters over the years.
After shows started being broadcast live in 2005, a year later we welcomed Rick Wakeman to our ranks for his fabled Sunday morning show. Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi also hosted his series, with Fish presenting Fish on Fridays and Alice Cooper starting as our breakfast show presenter.
David Jensen and Rick Wakeman
Testament to the strong bond Planet Rock has always had with bands and presenters, when GCap Media announced our closure in 2008 (due to their overall financial state rather than the profitability of Planet Rock), the station was sold to a consortium led by Malcolm Bluemel and supported by Tony Iommi, Ian Anderson, Gary Moore, and Fish.
Over the past 11 years presenters have included Gary Moore with his Blues Power show, Joe Bonamassa, Glenn Hughes, Brian Johnson, Duff McKagan, Scott Gorham, Ian Anderson, Francis Rossi, Phil Manzanera and many, many more.
Paul Anthony and Joey Tempest
Since Planet Rock was sold to Bauer Media in 2013, we’ve held six Planet Rockstock events, with the seventh taking place once again in Trecco Bay in South Wales this December.
Rockstock headliners have included Black Stone Cherry, Rival Sons, Michael Schenker, Black Star Riders and Thunder, and we’ve hosted over 200 bands from all over the world including USA, Canada, South Africa, Finland, France, Australia and, of course, the UK.
The Planet Rockstock crew back in the day. Nice hair, Darren!
There was also a spin-off Rockstock Marrakesh event in 2015 and in 2017 we launched our second rock weekender, Winter’s End, in Poole in Dorset celebrating British music and predominately newer bands. And just this year we hosted the inaugural Rocktober events in Norwich and Sheffield.
To celebrate our 20th birthday, we have a series of special shows lined up on air on Planet Rock throughout November. These include:
- Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson reading from his What Does This Button Do? book daily during the breakfast show from Monday 11th to Sunday 17th November.
- Archive special shows with Joe Bonamassa, Joey Tempest, Francis Rossi, Ian Anderson, Tony Iommi, Brian Johnson and the late-great Gary Moore.
- Planet Rock Plays It In Full on Monday nights at 11pm features the biggest and best albums of the past 20 years.
- A one-hour special of past presenter memories on Friday 15th November.
- We’ll be asking Planet Rock listeners to have their say on the Greatest Moment in Rock in the past 20 years.
Thank you to all our loyal Planet Rock listeners who tune in every day and every week! Here’s to the next 20 years and more!
Planet Rock magazine celebrates 20 years of Planet Rock:
Issue 17 of Planet Rock magazine, which is on sale everywhere now, also has a very special in-depth feature exploring the history of the UK’s favourite rock radio station.
Alongside our DJs, among those paying tribute to Planet Rock in the magazine are Fish, Brian May, Joey Tempest, Scott Gorham and Biff Byford.
Issue 17 has two special collectors’ covers to celebrate Queen’s coronation as Planet Rock’s Band Of The Year, and features new interviews with Brian May, Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert, in addition to a 12-page feature giving the inside story on the making of Queen’s A Night At The Opera (1975) and A Day At The Races (1976) albums. The issue also features Def Leppard, AC/DC, The Darkness, Motörhead, Uriah Heep, Whiskey Myers, Airbourne and more.