You can experience Greek culture in London without leaving your house: just listen to London Greek Radio on 103.3FM.
Or online at www.lgr.co.uk.
Based on the High Road in North Finchley, London Greek Radio (LGR) has been playing Greek music and broadcasting news from the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) since the 1980s.
LGR started life as a pirate radio station back in 1983, for a predominantly Greek Cypriot audience. It’s been on air as a legit FM station since 13 November 1989. Recently, LGR have started having more English speaking DJs, but continue to play the same Greek music.
We spoke to one of the founders, musician George Gregoriou about this piece of Greece in London.
“One of my friends was running an English pirate radio station back in the 80s when I said to him, ‘Why don’t you play some Greek music?’
“And he said ‘Where will I find Greek music?’ So I lent him some records, and we started playing Greek music. We rang the factories and the shops we knew with Greek-speaking workers, and said listen, we’re on this station, playing Greek music.
“They said, ‘Greek music? Oh, OK!’ And they rang their friends. And they rang their families. And soon we had a big radio station.
“There are 300,000 Greek speakers in London. Now I’m not saying they’re all listening all the time, but I think most of them are listening for a couple of hours here and there! It’s not just Greek people, but English, Jews, Serbians, Turkish Cypriots, people from the Balkans…
“And the English-speaking listeners can learn Greek through the station. Every Monday, we upload a new “Learn Greek By Radio” link to the website. It gets about 75 thousand views a month…
Does George have a favourite DJ?
“All of them play… each one is… Listen, the young ones are suitable for the young, the older ones are suitable for the older…! There’s something for everyone. I can’t say I prefer Paul, or Tony or Akis or Andreas… or anyone!
“The change to having more shows with speaking in English and Greek songs has been a positive one. We’re definitely going in that direction: music in Greek, DJs in English.
“Our plan is to go to satellite. One day, you’ll be able to listen to LGR all over the world.”
Any more tips for enjoying Greek culture in London? Leave your ideas in the comments below!