I was in the chemistry department of Aberdeen University in Scotland. I was inside a 19-inch cabinet trying to wire up a controller for a stepper motor for a diffraction grating monochrometer and listening to BBC Radio 1 (I was a young and foolish postgrad student).

The record that was playing finished and there was a short period of dead air. Then the DJ (I can't remember which one) came on and said words to the effect of:

"Excuse me, we were just watching the shuttle launch on TV and it's blown up. I'm sorry we're a little bit rattled. Here's another record."

This was probably the first general announcement of the crash in the UK. Radio 4 (to which I switched very quickly) did not have any information for over another half hour.