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Virgin Radio returns: Last of the new D2 stations has launched

The last of a wave of new radio stations launching on DAB digital radio has gone live, with the return of the Virgin Radio brand in the UK.

The new Virgin Radio UK was the last new station to launch on the recently launched Digital 2 DAB multiplex operated by Sound Digital, joining other new stations such as Mellow Magic, TalkRADIO and TalkSPORT2, which have gone live across the UK in recent weeks.

Now on-air following a live launch show at 11:00am on board a Virgin train, the station's regular schedule will feature Ex-Radio 1 stalwart Edith Bowman at breakfast. Following on after breakfast is Jamie East (10am – 1pm), Kate Lawler (1pm – 4pm) and Matt Richardson (4pm – 7pm), with Tim Cocker (7pm – 11pm) from XFM Manchester rounding off the weekday schedule.

Virgin Radio is returning to UK airwaves for the first time in eight years following an agreement between operator The Wireless Group and Virgin Radio International to licence the brand in the UK. The original Virgin Radio, which launched in 1993, lost its name following a change in ownership in 2008, and was rebranded Absolute Radio.

With an emphasis on rock music, the new Virgin Radio will differ from the pop music stations bearing the Virgin name operating in other parts of the world.

Sound Digital's DAB signal only reaches 75% of the UK. Listeners outside of the coverage area - notably East Anglia, South West England, large parts of Wales and Scotland can tune into the station online, for example via the Radioplayer app or the station's website. In the Aberdeen area, where Sound Digital's signal isn't available, Virgin Radio will be carried on the local DAB multiplex.

  • In addition to bringing listeners new stations, some existing DAB services are in their final phase of transition from broadcasting on old frequencies and moving completely to Sound Digital. Listeners should check their DAB coverage at to see which stations will continue to be available in their area.


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