In 1982, HRB was known as Chairman Mike's Mini Radio. Although there were no shows on Christmas Day, other presenters on air just before Christmas included Graham West, Steve Eagles, Matthew Ian, Steve Fox, David Blower, and a certain Dave Leonard!
1987 and we finally made it live on air on Christmas Day courtesy of the madness that was the Mark Evans and Gordon Hunter Christmas Lunch. According to the programme diary, the show included all the number ones of 1987 and a guaranteed playing of Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" ! Plus of course the infamous HRB Christmas Panto, and this year it was the first – A Christmas Carol.
Photos of Gordon and Mark seem a little rare in HRB's archives, but watch this space, we're sure there must be some around somewher
No shows on Christmas Day 1992, but on Christmas Eve, Neil Ogden, Mark Cole and Brian McMillan hosted a three hour special which included live requests from the wards. We even got the patients singing along. Listen carefully and the clip still appears sometimes!
Neale Adams, Neil Ogden and Daniel Lond were supposed to be among the shows on offer in 1997, but unfortunately a suspected power cut at HRB's studios meant that none of these shows were actually broadcast! We're sure it wasn't intentional (well almost), but we were back on air on Boxing Day with Daniel Lond, Kathryn Evans and Mark Cole.
1998 and according to the programme diary it was then Chairman Melanie Neale co-hosting a request show with Phil Spray from 3pm – 6pm on Christmas Day. Shame about the lack of requests though. Must have been all that Christmas dinner that stopped them visiting the wards.
After our fire in July of 1999, the station was off air at Christmas of this year.
Despite huge efforts and high hopes, the station remained off the air for Christmas 2000 as well.
For our first Christmas on air for several years, Christmas Day started with Neil Ogden on the Breakfast Show and continued on G Floor and around the hospital with Dave Leonard helped out by HRB presenters Alan Minto, Kim Bellis, Ray Purkiss and Neil Ogden. In Concert and the Comedy Hour and lots of great Christmas music made up the rest of the day.
Dave Leonard along with Neil Ogden and Alan Minto co-hosted a Christmas morning live request show from around the wards. Neil continued into the afternoon and other shows that year included a whole new set of concerts including Kylie and Robbie amongst others. A star-studded Christmas schedule in 2002.
Dave Leonard, Neil Ogden, Alan Minto and Paul Turner gave up their Christmas morning to entertain the hospital once again with a live request show all morning.
In the afternoon, Neil Ogden and Les Peckham played the music and there was the usual dose of panto fun with the infamous HRB Christmas pantos.
Dave Leonard was on air once again as Neil Ogden & Alan Minto once again went off around the wards, later joined by other HRB members including Doug Kissock and Peter Hawken. Peter's presence was welcomed as his soldering iron came in handy when the Chief Executive called by and the guest microphone wasn't working!
All the usual Christmas shows came out of the archive and there were live request shows on every day of the Christmas period. HRB was one of lots of stations who broadcast a unique dramatisation of the story of Peter Pan. This was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first performance of the story and was broadcast on Boxing Day at the same time as other stations around the world.
Neil Ogden counted down the top 40 Most Requested Artists of the Year, and it was the 500th edition of The Sound of Sunday on Boxing Day. Just after Christmas, the station's 21st birthday celebrations were kicked off with a countdown of the top 75 most requested artists ever, a show presented by Neil Ogden and Sarah Beattie.
Christmas morning on HRB was a mad dash round the hospital as always. Neil Ogden and Alan Minto met Father Christmas up on the children's ward and were joined later by HRB's Marilyn Price on maternity.
Chief Executive Mary Edwards joined Dave Leonard in the studio and Sarah Beattie continued the music and requests for Christmas Lunch live from mid-day.
The usual mad dash round the hospital in the morning was followed by the more laid back Christmas lunch with Sarah Beattie – in fact the same as 2005. After Sarah though, things changed with Andy McCormick back on HRB to present Christmas afternoon direct from the other side of the world in the first Postcard from New Zealand. That programme included The Queen's Christmas message for the first time ever on HRB.
Other Christmas 2006 highlights included a series of musicals and songs from the musicals, plenty of requests and Sarah was back early in 2007 to co-host the annual countdown of HRB's Most Requested Artists Ever.
Basingstoke's MP Maria Miller was one of the special guests on HRB this year alongside all the usual Christmas fun and games. Lots of prizes were given away on the Christmas Cracker Dash and lots of requests collected on the live Christmas morning show hosted by Marilyn Price.
There were special "Postcard" show from Spain and New Zealand as well as a special from Cornwall with Lora Coventry who also hosted Christmas Day breakfast.
Andy McCormick presented a special 2 hour "Slice of Kiwi" playing some of the New Zealand artists and groups previously featured in his show. We also repeated a programme originally broadcast in the early 90s with highlights of HRB's carnival coverage, all part of the campaign to bring back the Basingstoke Carnival.
Sarah Beattie and Neil Ogden were joined by Steve Fox to count down the most requested artists and Neil presented a show playing some of HRB's least requested.
Christmas 2008 kicked off with a very successful Christmas Cracker Dash where we gave away tickets to the local pantos and shows and raced around the hospital giving out crackers and talking to the staff live on air.
We were live on Christmas morning as well with the usual selection of Christmas Day fun and games. We also invited presenters from other hospital radio stations to join in with the Christmas Takeover.
The musicals appeared as usual, along with another chance to hear the year's outside broadcasts incuding the 2008 Yuletide in Alton.
Finally, we closed the schedule on our 25th birthday with the top 80 most requested artists ever hosted by Neil Ogden, Steve Fox, Sarah Beattie and Andy McCormick.
Christmas 2009 started with another successful Christmas Cracker Dash where we talked to the stars of the local pantos and gave away tickets to those shows to two very satisfied winners.
Christmas week started with snow – which caused a few problems with our live shows, but we were back on track with a live Postcard From Canada (from the UK) on Christmas Eve.
We were live from the wards on Christmas morning and our other Christmas shows included a 2-part Yuletide in Alton, Postcards from Spain, France and Jersey, and a selection of events covered in the past from the archives.
More snow meant we had to postpone the traditional Christmas curtain-closer – The Top 100 Most Requested Artists Ever, but it was a great Christmas overall at the start of another great year for the station.
It was another successful Christmas schedule on HRB in 2010, which started as usual with the Great Christmas Cracker Dash, and continued with lots of festive shows.
We were live as usual from the wards on Christmas morning and in the afternoon, we spent Christmas Day with Santa. Gary King joined us later for a Totally 80s Christmas and we also featured a Christmas show by the legendary US DJ Wolfman Jack.
Our usual countdowns of the most requested artsists featured including Vernon Pearce live from Spain in January for the Most Requested Ever.
Our most successful Christmas Cracker Dash ever launched us into Christmas 2011 in December. we were once again live from the wards on Christmas morning and Santa joined us from his grotto on Christmas afternoon.
As usual we took the opportunity to repeat some of our outside broadcast highlights of 2011 and Chris Fox reviewed the year's news and music in our review of the year. Adele was revealed as the most requested artist of 2011 and for the first time we counted down the most requested of the 21st century over the course of one week.