Happy birthday to us – Sunderland radio station celebrates anniversary

Some of the staff at Spark FM, St. Peter's Campus, Sunderland University, blow the candle out on their birthday cake celebrating their third birthday. l-r Christopher Smith, Richie Lee, Anthony kane and Thomas Hannent. l-r front George Page, Corinne Kilvington and Jodie Bryant.
Some of the staff at Spark FM, St. Peter's Campus, Sunderland University, blow the candle out on their birthday cake celebrating their third birthday. l-r Christopher Smith, Richie Lee, Anthony kane and Thomas Hannent. l-r front George Page, Corinne Kilvington and Jodie Bryant.
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SPARK FM celebrated its birthday the way it knows best – over the airwaves.

The community radio station, based at Sunderland University’s St Peter’s campus, celebrated by taking the station back to where it all started.

Corinne Kilvington, station manager, said: “We’re celebrating on air.

“We’ve taken all the jingle sounds back to when we started in 2009, and all the songs we’re playing are from that year.”

Corinne, who has been with the station since the beginning said it’s strange for her to be in charge of the station.

“It’s weird,” she said.

“I was a guest in the first couple of weeks and now I’m running the place.

“Ethan O’Leary, one of the DJs has been here since the very beginning too – he has just left.

“He’s nominated for an award this year for all the hard work he has put in.”

The station has picked up a number of gongs over the last three years, and this year celebrates its third year alongside being nominated at the Student Radio Awards.

“It’s nice to get the 11 nominations while celebrating the birthday,” Corinne said.

Nominations include a number for presenter Scott McGerty with his show Dance Revolution, which won the prize for Best Specialist Show in 2011.

When Spark FM began the station had a staff of about 30 people, and that has grown to almost 300, all lending a hand to present, produce and write the shows.

Spark has also expanded to include a TV station and magazine.

Corinne said: “Now with the TV station and magazine we have nearly 300 people, and we have got city centre studios and studios here – on St Peter’s campus – as well as our own production office.

“I’m looking forward to seeing where we go from here.”

You can listen to Spark FM every day on 107.

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull