Torbay Hospital Radio started life in the seventies when its members (all of whom are volunteers) broadcast to patients staying in Torbay hospital from a small windowless room in the bowels of the hospital.
Thankfully, in 1978, the hospital's League of Friends gave the station new, purpose-built studios with windows and lots of space to hold all its equipment and the record library.
Studio 2 In 1994, the station was re-launched with a new management committee and named "Radio Active".
Two years later in 1996 the studio was upgraded and a new sound mixer installed. Since then computers have been introduced, to assist in maintaining the record library and also to allow the station to broadcast 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Today, Torbay Hospital Radio volunteers are responsible for bringing their listeners a wide variety of music, information, conversation and sport via the Premierline system, through which people can also phone in free to request their favourite tune.
On 29th May 2015, the station introduced "Online Streaming" due the increasing number of patients now using their own devices to "connect with the outside world" - with free WiFi right across the hospital. Listen Now
Some of the members of THR have been with the station for over twenty years and have helped to create the history you have just read about, but we are always looking for new members to help us write the next chapter in the history of Torbay Hospital Radio. If you would like to get involved, please contact us.
Torbay Hospital Radio is lucky enough to have a fantastic and supportive broadcasting, managing and administrative team who keeps everything running smoothly to provide the patients of Torbay Hospital Radio a pleasant listening experience.
More information about each team member can be viewed by clicking on the team members photo below.
Lee is Torbay Hospital Radio’s Station Engineer, he manages the upkeep of our sophisticated radio broadcast systems at our 2 studios, computer networking, online broadcasting, hospital layout systems and our 2 outside broadcast vehicles.
Nothing is too much trouble for Lee, who is extremely patient and enjoys helping others with training and support.
Outside of Hospital Radio, Lee works within the Theatre and Entertainment industry as a technical manager for National and International Tours, including the BBC and Disney Shows.
I am 51 years old and have spent 28 years working with the Guys at Hospital Radio Plymouth.
In 2016 Geoff moved to Bishopsteignton and starting working for an engineering company in Newton Abbott and in June 2017 applied to join Torbay Hospital Radio.
I enjoy all sorts of music from classical to very bad cheese as you will know if you listen to my show I co-present with Leanne on a Thursday night.
I am very young at heart enjoying Roller skating and supporting what is still call my local team Plymouth Argyle where i am a Match day Host looking after all our match day VIPs at all home games.
Leanne has been a member of Torbay Hospital Radio since August 2017.
Leanne joined the radio for many reasons: firstly she wanted to help the community and lift the spirits of poorly patients – since joining the radio she has enjoyed collecting requests and seeing how it makes the patients happy. Secondly, Leanne loves music, and with an eclectic taste, Torbay Hospital Radio is the perfect place to share her love of music and find even more music to love. Learning new skills and the chance to meet and socialise with a great bunch of people were among other reasons too.
Leanne works in marketing, she has an BA Film Studies degree and a MSc Masters in Marketing. In her spare time she likes to do crafts, watch films and TV programmes, go for walks, zumba classes and trips
Craig is a presenter at Torbay Hospital Radio and part of a team who give their time each week to bring a bit of sunshine back into your life whilst you’re in hospital.He is also the Stations Treasurer and Trustee of the station.
Craig’s own background is as a graduate in theatre performance and media and he is also a qualified broadcast journalist.
He likes to mix the dramatic with anything newsworthy in a Mix and Match style of which he presents along with Catherine Dodd.
Craig says he is always open to suggestions and welcomes your input into bringing out the best for your entertainment.
Craig also is on THR’s Tech Team who keep the HR system on air.
Stephanie joined Torbay Hospital Radio in May 2008. After her dad Reg had to spend a lot of time in Hospital, Stephanie wanted to give something back and also realised how important the radio station is to patients and how the presenters can make a difference to the patient’s day. She has a BA Hons in photography and media, has her own photography business and also a full time job at a local firm of solicitors as a personal assistant. She is also currently studying to become a solicitor. She always makes time still for THR and can be seen with the rest of the members on the outside broadcasts and of course heard on Bob’s show on Monday nights.
Stephanie was made assistant Program Controller in the October of 2013 and with her many hobbies which include jewellery making, card making, cross stitch, baking, making dolls house miniatures and of course photography,she is keep very busy.
She has an eclectic taste in music, and you can be sure to have a real variety including some much needed cheese, so much so that Steph’s part of the show is sometimes affectionately called the cheese corner!
With a passion for music and a greater passion for talking it made perfect sense for me to come back to the team of like minded crazy people at THR.
I have now graduated from the 80s on to Rock and present the Rock Show every Friday from 8:30.
I am doing my best to stay young and THR helps with that so if you get chance, tune in to my show and if you feel brave text in with a song request or the answer to my connection round.
Keep smiling and in the words of Frank Zappa remember – “Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty. Beauty is not love. Love is not music. Music is THE BEST.
Catherine currently co – presents the early evening show on Fridays since joining Torbay Hospital Radio in 2008.
Catherine has a wide range of musical tastes and especially enjoys popular music from a variety of genres including songs from the 60s to the 90s and hits from the musical theatre worlds.
As well as being a cat lover, Catherine’s interests include cooking, reading; especially ‘Whodunnit’ fiction and historical novels and making her own greeting cards for family and friends.
Catherine finds working as a volunteer very rewarding. Being registered blind, Catherine enjoys working in the non visual medium of radio where she feels she can participate on equal terms with sighted people.
Bob Thorp, aka “Marldon Man”, co-founded “Stan”, the Talking Book for The Blind in Wiltshire. Bob co-presents on the Monday Night Request Show and also takes on the wards.
Alan joined Radio Active in 1986. After spending time in hospital as a patient, he decided that Hospital Radio would be an ideal way to give something back into the community and share with people his love of brass and military band music and music hall artists.
Alan ran a hotel with his wife for 18 years before retiring. His hobbies include collecting music hall posters and he is a member of the British Music Hall Society and the Max Miller Appreciation Society.
I joined the team at Torbay Hospital Radio in 2016 following my early retirement.
Having always lived in The Bay, I can truly – and proudly – describe myself as 100% Torquinian. Together with my family and friends, I am passionate about spending time by the sea and enjoy all that this very special part of the South West has to offer.
I am a!so a complete music devotee and love visiting our hospital wards, talking to patients about their favourite artists and songs (and their dislikes, too!) which usually results in taking a request for us to play when I return to the studio . Meeting patients on the wards always provokes interesting conversation and they really do appreciate the service our volunteers provide here at THR.
So if you find yourself spending some time in Torbay Hospital, perhaps we’ll get to hear about the music YOU would like to hear when I – or indeed, another member of our dedicated team – visit your ward. You can also contact us at the studio to leave your message. We always aim to play the music YOU want to hear.
In the words of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards:
“Music never lets your down, puts smile on your face, anytime, any place,”
Everybody Dance by Chic; 1978
Beth joined Torbay Hospital Radio back in 2014 as a co-host on the ‘Throwback Thursday’ show.
She now helps Lee, her partner and our station engineer, with various technical development tasks within the studio.
Outside of THR, Beth is a lifestyle blogger who writes about her passions including Theatre, Beauty, Books, Travel and Disney. She aspires to eventually make blogging her full-time career.
Paul began his working career tarting about onstage in frocks and then segued to tarting about in courtrooms in wig and gown. It seemed like a good idea at the time and, besides, crime does pay (Legal Aid rates, unfortunately). Having hung up his wig and gown,
Paul brings his dubious talents to Torbay Hospital Radio, where he plays the occasional piece of music in between pontificating on subjects as diverse as whether Jedward are the saviours of Western civilisation or if it’s possible to find an energy drink that doesn’t taste vaguely of battery acid. Paul is a massive fan of David Bowie and prides himself on having never willingly played any music by Hollywood Warbler-in-Chief, Barbra Streisand.
In 2013, Paul was awarded an OBE for services to compulsive lying.
I had never heard of hospital radio until a nurse who knew me and my love of music suggested I ought to consider joining. I gave it some thought and when I retrired made some enquiries back in 2001.
The hospital I joined was Derriford in Plymouth where I stayed for eight years.
I had a break when a former colleague from Derriford had moved to Torbay Hospital who asked would I consider joining them and here I am talking about music, playing the music that I love in the hope those who listen get the same pleasure.
There are also some fringe benefits to go with it. I have been able to be part of a group of people of all ages who maybe learn from me as I certainly have learned from them. Here I am eight years older but ten years younger.
It beats medication.
I am delighted to have been welcomed as a volunteer and member of the Torbay Hospital Radio.
The nature of the work is that I am working with very special fun and caring people which is an absolute pleasure.
I hope that whatever I am able to contribute in the future it will be a positive and helpful contribution. I especially feel that as a charity that has no government funding and relies purely on donations, it is a very worthwhile cause to be associated with and to help. Hospital is not the place anyone wants to be, and I hope that I can help to make that a little easier for the patients and lighten their stay. Music is especially important to me and is a great communicator and healer and something that I cant imagine ever being without, and so I am happy to spread that into everyones lives !!
I also hope along the way to make many new friends.
My name is Lennon aka Sports guy and I have been at Torbay Hospital Radio since August 2018.
I keep everyone up to date with all the sport going round across the week.
I’m a big football fan, it is my passion and a big part of what I do for THR.
Weekend breakfast show presenter Andrew Millar started his career in entertainment working the bars and clubs in his native Scotland before embarking on a career in management within the hospitality industry, fast forward a couple of decades and he finished his management career as general Manager in the World famous London Hippodrome before he joined the Empire Leicester Square London.
Andrew then went to sea for several years working on board ships for P&O cruises and Cunard, after 14 years both at sea working with Carnival UK Andrew then decided to move to the Southwest with his family to take up a role in Brixham.
Andrew has been presenting music for over 30 years on various stations, clubs and hospital radio and claims whilst he is in the 50’s club he claims he is in his words mad as a brush, he enjoys all types of music, he is witty, sometimes funny and loves to have a rant (Andrew’s words ).
Andrew loves to recognise organisations who help others in the community, groups of people and friends who all look after each other. He enjoys seeing people getting on in life and growing with confidence, Life’s a struggle for most claims Andrew and there is nothing better than watching people grow in stature and in confidence, no one needs to be alone, if we help each other.
Paul joined THR in 2019.
After a career in banking, he now is a cricket coach, would be novelist and song writer. He still plays cricket and loves all sport.
Born in Bristol, Paul moved to Devon 30 years ago and decided not to leave. He has an eclectic love of music , is married and has 3 grown children.