Hartlepool radio station prepares for broadcasting marathon

Dan Walton Picture by FRANK REID
Dan Walton Picture by FRANK REID

A hospital radio station is getting ready for a 40-hour broadcasting marathon to celebrate four decades of being on air.

Radio Stitch will entertain patients, staff and visitors at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton live around the clock from 8am on Saturday, February 20 to midnight on Sunday, February 21.

Dan Walton Picture by FRANK REID

Dan Walton Picture by FRANK REID

In the 40 years since the launch of the station, formerly Radio North Tees, it has grown from operating out of a small cupboard with a handful of volunteers to its own studio with 25 DJs.

Dan Walton, who lives in the Murray Street area of Hartlepool, has been involved for about 10 years and is the current station manager.

He said: “I think it’s such a fantastic achievement for a radio station. It has grown so much from broadcasting a couple of hours a day to now where we have got pretty much a full schedule.

“Because we have been broadcasting for 40 years, we thought what can we do to celebrate that and thought ‘let’s do 40 hours non-stop live broadcasting’ so that’s what we are going to do.

The University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, where Radio Stitch is based.

The University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton, where Radio Stitch is based.

“Some people are doing an hour or two show, some are doing six hours. It will be demanding, but people love it so it has got its own reward.

“I think it’s going to be fantastic.”

Although Radio Stitch goes out at both hospital sites all day every day, not all of its output is live.

But for the radiothon, someone will be at the mic and in the studio for the whole of the 40 hours.

Marcus Bentley, best known as the voiceover on Big Brother, has recorded some jingles specially for the event. Dan, 42, who also works in customer services for a media company, added there will be lots of interaction with patients and staff during the event.

They will also be looking back over the last 40 years and will be bringing back some former presenters to relive their highlights.

A countdown to the radiothon can be found on the station’s website at www.radiostitch.co.uk