1927 - 2021


When working for the J Walter Thompson advertising agency, Philip Birch was

approached by a group setting up the offshore station Radio London.

Birch had been a Lieutenant in the Royal West Kent regiment, and was then living

with his wife Elizabeth and four sons at a large farmhouse in Kent.


Philip Birch and Family

He’d joined JWT in 1949 and moved to America, becoming media director responsible for buying

and planning TV and radio programmes. He moved back to London in 1960, continuing to work

for JWT until he left in 1964, to help set up what became Radio London. There’d been

a number of suggestions for the station name, including Radio Galaxy, KLIF London,

Radio Unlimited and Radio Big, until Radio London was settled upon.

Birch found and set up offices at 17 Curzon Street in London’s Mayfair district and

registered Radlon (Sales) Ltd as a sales organisation.

Philip Birch recording Ringo Star farewell message for Radio London final hour

Radio London went on to become a huge

success, with a number of its deejays joining BBC Radio 1 that the UK government

introduced to replace the offshore “pirate” stations.

When eventually the British

government allowed commercial radio stations to be set up, Philip Birch went

on to be the founder of Manchester commercial station Piccadilly Radio, that he ran

until the 1980’s.

When Philip Birch retired, he moved to California.



He passed away, aged 94, on 7th December at 4.15pm local time (12.15am UK time).


In June 1997/98, Offshore Echos Magazine, published an interview with Philip Birch.
This interview is on line in the members section of this site.