Why LBC is My New Favourite Radio Station
The Problem with Today’s Radio
I used to love everything about radio. Not only was I an avid listener, but I also produced and presented my own show at the local station in my city.
But radio isn’t what it used to be. All we get now is the same tasteless music on a loop, repeating itself every hour of every day. Between those cheesy hits are even cheesier presenters. Often a Londoner with a sharp accent, talking about the gossip in Heat Magazine that day.
It drives me mad, and it’s the sole reason I went on the hunt for something better. Something worth my time.
The Solution to Today’s Radio
LBC is the radio station for those who want to listen to discussion and debate surrounding current affairs. It’s quite political, but it always talks about how today’s news affects the average, working-class person. It’s your classic phone-in talk show.
The presenters don’t talk at you but rather with you. Throughout the show, there’s an abundance of people like you and me calling up, to give their views. A variety of topics and opinions are discussed and debated. People from all backgrounds and political stances are given a platform.
From my experience, there’s no political agenda being pushed. The only agenda on the list is to have the discussion. Often, it’s the uncomfortable discussions people are afraid to talk about with others.
All of the radio shows have this format. It’s 24/7 discussion. I don’t tune in to listen to a particular presenter. I just go into the app and turn it on when I feel like listening to something interesting.
One thing I’ve noticed with LBC is the lack of ads. Even though it’s a free service, there aren’t many ads at all. A presenter will typically discuss something for 20–30 minutes, and then there’ll be about 5 minutes of ads.
Instead of rushing to get to the next ad break, I feel the presenters are given plenty of time to finish the current topic until they feel ready to move on. There’s no pause in the discussion, in an attempt to squeeze in more ads.
Absolutely no music is played, apart from the theme tune when a radio show is starting. So when a radio show is 3 hours long, you know you’re getting a damn good amount of content.
Even though the app is labeled as LBC, it’s actually the Global Player app. (Global is the company that owns LBC. More on this below). When you open it, you’ll find you have a lot more than just LBC.
If you want a break from the talking, the app comes with other radio stations. These include: Classic FM for classical music; Smooth Radio for cheesy 60s and 70s; and a range of Heart Radio stations for the best of 70s, 80s and 90s.
There’s also a catch-up page on the app. This allows the user to replay any live radio shows, up to 7 days after being broadcasted.
Finally, and most surprisingly, there’s a Podcast section. It’s not just podcasts from Global, either. This page acts as a generic podcast service, with a range of popular shows. These include The Joe Rogan Experience, No Such Thing as a Fish, TED Talks Daily, etc.
All radio show playbacks and podcasts can be downloaded, to listen to offline.
BBC vs LBC
Overall, I find the BBC to be a damn good service. In my view, they’re the most reliable news source in Britain. They do well to report the facts, without adding anything that doesn’t need to be added. They’re an extremely credible and trustworthy source of information.
However, this is in fact a disadvantage when it comes to open discussion. The BBC often face accusations of being biased, so they have to tread carefully.
That’s where LBC comes in. They’re not under that restriction. LBC is owned by a private company called Global — I know. How generic and fitting.
The Guardian has said that LBC ‘sees itself as an antidote to an elitist BBC, with its presenters free to be as opinionated as they like’.
I’ve listened to almost all of the presenters on this station, due to my ever-changing work shift. I have to say, for the most part, they stay unbiased.
Some will say that it’s impossible to be unbiased. Maybe that’s true, but the effort is appreciated.
As I mention, it’s not evident to me that they have a political agenda. They do well to discuss both sides of the coin. As well as this, they allow all sorts of views to be given by people like you and me, through phone-ins and face-to-face interviews with public figures.
So, even if the presenter does lean to the Left or Right on a particular topic, they’ll always be challenged. You’ll always get the opposing opinion come in from someone else.
So while I still use BBC News to get informed about what’s happening, I use LBC for the discussion around that report.
Will You Enjoy LBC and its App?
When it comes to LBC’s radio station, it’s not for everyone. Many want to get away from the news; not listen to more of it. I wouldn’t recommend LBC to those people. If you do enjoy discussion and debate, definitely try it.
However, for those who would like to listen to the other radio stations I mention, and some I didn’t mention, you should still give the app a try. This is the same for those who like podcasts. I just think it’s so convenient to have radio and podcasts in one app.
If you like on-demand music and podcasts only, Spotify is definitely better for you. I highly recommend it. I talked in-depth about this in a recent blog post.
Too much news can get to you. It can cause stress and panic if you surround yourself with it. There’s more to life than just news. Look after your mental health and wellbeing by limiting how much news, politics, discussion and debate you consume and take part in.