BFBS Radio is heard in more than 20 countries around the world. Our DAB HQ in the UK links with stations in Afghanistan, Belize, Brunei,
Canada, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Nepal and Northern Ireland.
BFN became BFBS (the British Forces Broadcasting Service) in 1965. Since then, we've been with the British Forces through the Aden crisis, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the Falklands War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Balkans conflicts, the handover of Hong Kong and the two Iraq wars.
Our studios have looked out over Victoria Harbour from Hong Kong Island, Basra Air Station in Iraq, the Banja Luka Metal Factory in Bosnia, Singapore, Nairobi, Berlin, Kosovo, Cologne and the back of Paddington railway station in London. Well, postings can't always be exotic...
BFBS Radio has always developed or attracted top broadcasting talent. Stars whose broadcasting or film careers started in Forces' Radio include Roger Moore (BFN Germany), Cliff Michelmore (BFN Germany), Barry Davies (BFBS London), Peter Donaldson (BFBS Cyprus) and Sarah Kennedy (BFBS Singapore). John Peel, Tommy Vance, Kenny Everett and many more radio legends were a part of BFBS Radio for many years. These days, we prefer to develop our own talent, with the likes of Sim Courtie, Lynne Duffus and the new generation of BFBS Radio presenters entertaining and informing the British Forces community, wherever they may be.
The 'arms plot' for the British Forces has changed significantly since the end of the Cold War. Twenty years after the Wall came down, there are far fewer serving personnel, with a much higher proportion of them based, along with their families, in the United Kingdom. That said, regular operational deployments are now a fact of Forces' life and there are still permanent British Forces bases in more than twenty countries around the world, from Germany to Cyprus, the Falklands to Canada, Gibraltar to Brunei. BFBS Radio has stations in many of those countries and broadcasts via satellite and then local FM in areas where the British Forces presence is small.
There may be fewer Forces personnel to serve in 2009 than there were in 1943 but that makes the role of the British Forces Broadcasting Service even more important. Now, with the launch of BFBS Radio on DAB in Great Britain, the Forces' world is truly connected.