Childhood dream becomes reality for south east London friends after radio station launch

A “dream became a reality” for a Lewisham man and his childhood friend after they relaunched their own radio station late last year.

Jon O’Leary and Tom Marley both from Lewisham relaunched their radio station in December 2021 called Select Radio.

Jon, 38, told the News Shopper they had a dream to “one-day” create their own radio station that would reach listeners from the “four corners of the world.”

Select Radio

He said their dream started when they were just teenagers as they grew up around DJs who had a love for music.

Select Radio was formally a pirate radio station in 2003.

They were later awarded a radio licence by Ofcom in May 2020 which allowed them to relaunch as of December 2021. 

News Shopper: Select RadioSelect Radio

They then decided to build their own team and opened a radio studio in Southwark.

The radio station focuses on House and Electronic music which is aired across all of London.

Jon said their aim is to connect with the younger generation through their music.

He explained: “Our goal is to connect with the 18 to 22-year-olds to reach out to their generation and get them to listen to us.

“As we grew older, we also started to grow an understanding for the music, we knew we had to start from somewhere.

“In 2002, me and Tom decided to have fun with the music by playing house and garage music for other people.”

News Shopper: Select RadioSelect Radio

Jon told the News Shopper that their dream has “become bigger than ever expected” after the opening of their studio.

He added: “We’ve now grown a team in a studio in Southwark where there are nine of us.

“We’ve also got over 65 DJ’s and have guests from all over the world.

“It’s unreal to see now that a small dream became this massive team.”

Jon said they want to give back to the community who listen to them by hosting charity events in the future.

He explained: “We’re going to be doing some charity events at the Hope and Anchor in Brixton.

“We’re hoping to be working with mental health charity, Mind by doing some events for them.

“We know lots of people within the industry from mental health.

“It’s something we feel very passionate about.”

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