British commercial radio station.
Key 103 rose out of the ashes of legendary Manchester radio station Radio Piccadilly. Owned by media giants EMAP, it is the largest radio station outside the capital, broadcasting to 2.7 million listeners. Piccadilly originally had its studios in Piccadilly Gardens in the heart of the city, but several years ago the renamed station moved to purpose-built premises on Castle Quay.
The station's remit is like every other mainstream commercial station in the country - play the biggest pop music tracks of the day interspersed with cheerful banter and inordinate amounts of adverts. However, Key's size and importance marks it out from not only its competitors (Century FM, Galaxy FM and Big AM) but also its fraternal brothers in the EMAP stable (even Sheffield's Hallam FM is only a third of the size of Key). Therefore, not only do Key snaffle the brightest young talent in the DJ field, but they also have more celebrities and better competitions than their peers. Only BBC Radio One and Capital FM have greater sway in the radio world.
Key's weekday daytime lineup is as follows:
- 6:30am - 10am: JK & Joel at Breakfast
JK and Joel met at Hull's Viking FM, forming a partnership that made them the hottest breakfast team in the country and the subject of a huge bidding war for their services. Have been with the station since 2000.
- 10am - 1pm: Mike Toolan
Formerly the breakfast jock, until 1999 Key's entire remit was to do with Mike Toolan what they did (after a fashion) with Steve Penk - make him a star. Politics and a missing je ne sais quoi conspired against him, however, and he was bumped in favour of the terrible twosome above.
- 1pm - 4pm: Adam Cole
Former Sony Gold Award winner (the Oscars of the radio world), Coley started out on Piccadilly before defecting to Galaxy, where he made his name. However, the promise of a lighter workload and a higher profile on Key tempted him back to keep the early afternoons buzzing.
- 4pm - 7pm: Darren Proctor
Quite simply, the most professional DJ in the country. Presenter of the Smash Hits chart across the country, as well as on Smash Hits TV, Proctor has also proved an ample replacement for 'Dr.' Neil Fox in the Network Chart HQ. Also puts most club DJs to shame with his mixing skills. Not bad for an old codger.
- 7pm - 10pm: Jo Goode
The rising star of the crew, Jo has deputised for Proctor on Smash Hits as well as hosting the Smash Hits Radio show in syndication nationwide. She also hosts the many evening football shows from the studio and her rapport with sports guru Dan Walker is turning heads in the industry.
Key 103 also run a number of events, including the massive Feel The Noise summer concerts, which have featured the 'cream' of pop music's 'talent' pool, and also parties for major football matches, big name gigs (Kylie, Hear'Say and Westlife to name but a few).
Not surprisingly, Key can be found on 103.0FM within a fifty mile radius of Manchester.