British Broadcasting Corporation

Page last updated at 00:07 GMT, Monday, 1 June 2009 01:07 UK

Birdsong radio taken off the air

Blackbird. Image: Rob Robinson / BTO
The recording of birds was made 20 years ago

A digital radio station which became unexpectedly popular with listeners by playing just birdsong is to go off the air on Monday morning.

It is being replaced by an interactive radio station which will play a mix of indie, urban, rock and jazz music by unsigned artists.

The Birdsong channel had been broadcasting for almost 18 months.

It was aimed as a temporary filler after the DAB OneWord station closed, but attracted thousands of listeners.

The recording was made 20 years ago by Quentin Howard in his back garden in Wiltshire, who is now the chief executive of a number of radio stations.

He decided to broadcast it to fill the empty radio space, and since then nearly half a million people tuned in. Author Sir Terry Pratchett said he found it relaxing, fans set up Facebook sites, and a separate Birdsong Radio began online, selling CDs.

Its replacement, Amazing Radio, features songs from artists who have uploaded their music to website over the past four years.

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