September 30, 1967: 'Wonderful Radio 1', the BBC's first pop station, takes to the airwaves

The voice of Tony Blackburn and the strains of The Move's Flowers in the Rain welcomed listeners to a new station born out of the pirate radio movement.

With Tony Blackburn’s words, “Good morning everyone, welcome to the exciting new sound of Radio 1”, and the strains of The Move’s Top 10 hit Flowers in the Rain, the BBC’s first dedicated pop station began broadcasting on this day in 1967.

Radio 1 had come into being after the Marine Offences Act outlawed unregulated ‘pirate’ radio stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio London, to meet the need for a legal pop music station; its predecessor, the Light Programme, had combined pop with easy listening and comedy.

[Read more: A look back at Radio 1’s first day on air]

[Read more: Blackburn joins Grimmy to celebrate Radio 1's 50th]

The less contemporary elements of the Light Programme would be hived off to another new station, Radio 2, while the BBC’s other stations would also be renamed in the shake-up - the Third Programme becoming Radio 3 and the Home Service Radio 4.

Radio 1 would broadcast pop from 7am to 7.30pm, followed by lighter music and entertainment until 2am. Several disc jockeys were hired for the new station on eight-week contracts, with the intention to retain the most popular thereafter.

Radio 1's launch DJs, including Tony Blackburn, Jimmy Young, Kenny Everett (all back row, left), Bob Holness, Terry Wogan (both middle row, left), Pete Murray, Ed Stewart (front row, left) and John Peel (front row, right).

The new presenting roster (pictured above) included many popular former pirate radio DJs, including Blackburn, Simon Dee, Emperor Rosko, Kenny Everett and John Peel, alongside established BBC names such as Pete Murray, Jimmy Young and Alan Freeman.

[September 2, 1967: Pirate radio boss captures North Sea fort - and declares the independent Principality of Sealand]

[Read more: Radio 1 celebrates a milestone – the big 50]

With the studios at Broadcasting House in London packed with press and well-wishers, the station began broadcasting at 7am with Blackburn’s new show, 'Daily Disc Delivery' - the DJ following up The Move’s opener with songs by the Bee Gees, The Tremeloes and Simon and Garfunkel.

With Radio 1 the only station of the four BBC channels not to be allocated at stereo FM frequency, reception was initially poor in several areas of the county; despite this, it proved a huge success, doubling the Light Programme's audience within a month of its launch.