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Neil the co-founder of Choice FM celebrates STATION'S BLUE Plaque


Neil Kenlock the Radio Pioneer

For those of you who are not aware, another one of Neil's passions is radio. Neil and Patrick Berry co-founded Choice 96.9 FM radio on March 31st 1990. On the 31st anniversary to commemorate its history the Nubian Jak Community Trust organised the unveiling in Trinity Gardens, Brixton South London. It is at the address that the station launched and went on to be one of the most successful black media companies in the UK. 


23 Years of Broadcasting History

During its 23-year tenure, the station helped to champion black music of all genres and break acts from around the world. The station also covered stimulating debates on current affairs issues that were not covered by other mainstream stations. Choice FM was awarded a number of accolades including MOBO and  Sony Radio Academy Awards.


Choice FM Team Reunited

Neil was delighted that members of the Choice FM family and the community were able to view the event through a special online celebration broadcast hosted by former Choice FM DJs Martin Jay, George Kay and Daddy Ernie on Youtube.


Plaque campaigner and former Choice FM DJ Daddy Ernie said “On Saturday 31st March a station was born that changed the sound of UK radio forever. Choice FM came from humble beginnings at Trinity Gardens and was the sound the community was longing for. It played the type of music that mainstream radio didn’t play,  making global stars from R&B, Reggae, Dancehall and Soca artists. Now we pay homage and unveil a symbol to mark where it all started.”


Co-founder Neil Kenlock said “Many Black British people and those from many other communities remember Choice FM and the strong heritage that it has left behind. The station gave opportunities to UK and international artists, businesses, local community groups and charities like the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust who didn’t have a media outlet. Since Choice FM there has never been another black owned, commercial licenced station that broadcasts across London. Therefore, celebrating the anniversary is important, touching those who remember it and educating those who are not aware of this British history. The blue plaque will highlight the work of Windrush descendants and our huge impact on the radio and music industry in the UK. I’d like to thank everyone, including Lambeth Council for their support for this project.”


Raising money for the African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT)

The plaque was funded by the Choice FM Blue Plaque Group and other members of the black community who made donations through a Go Fund Me campaign. The donation page was set up to give people the opportunity to support the campaign for the plaque and raise awareness of the history. The funds raised (£4,500) were also donated to an amazing charity, The African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust (ACLT). Choice FM worked closely with the charity during their broadcasting years, to help provide hope for patients living with blood cancer and other illnesses. The Choice FM Blue Plaque Group continues to support their work through this campaign.


This plaque will ensure that the station and its community will always be remembered. 


 

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