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SAMS Radio 2

The BBC World Service on FM

Nation shall speak peace unto nation{a}

SAMS Radio 2 re-broadcasts the BBC World Service

SAMS Radio 2

About this station

SAMS Radio 2 re-broadcasts the BBC World Service on 88.1MHz, 100.7MHz & 102.7MHz. Programmes are broadcast uninterrupted. For programme schedules please see the BBC World Service website. The variant broadcast is the African Service, targeted at southern Africa.


SAMS Radio 2 started testing on 7th March 2013 and was officially launched on 21st March 2013.

The BBC World Service is vital and will continue to be subsidised.{b}


If you find SAMS Radio 2 is not received clearly, you might find our guide How to get radio louder, clearer, better helpful.

Transmission of SAMS Radio 2 is undertaken for SAMS by Sure, to whom all queries and complaints should be directed.



SAMS Radio 2 is sponsored by Sure.

Regulation & Complaints

The BBC World Service

Broadcasting House, London

Usually known just as the ‘World Service’.

Originally the ‘Empire Service’, which began broadcasting on 19th December 1932, in his first Christmas Message (in 1932), King George V described it as intended for men and women, so cut off by the snow, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them. It was renamed the BBC Overseas Service in November 1938, and with effect from 1st May 1965 combined with the BBC European Service to become the BBC World Service.

The World Service broadcasts from Broadcasting House in London (photograph, right) in many languages, the exact selection of which has varied over the years, and is also transmitted from the relay station on Ascension Island. World News is a fundamental component of the schedule, with a five-minute bulletin on the hour, a two-minute summary on the half-hour{1} and full news programmes throughout the day.

Radio St Helena used to pick and rebroadcast world news from the World Service’s Shortwave service. In April 2001 the BBC sent satellite equipment allowing Radio St Helena to retransmit in digital quality, direct from the BBC African Service, and from that time it was possible to listen to the World Service whenever Radio St Helena was not transmitting local programmes. 24/7 access to the World Service on St Helena was not available until the launch of SAMS Radio 2 on 21st March 2013.

For more see en.wikipedia.org/‌wiki/‌BBC‌_‌World‌_‌Service or bbc.co.uk/‌worldserviceradio.


Remember the old World Service signature tune, Lillibullero (listen, right) and wonder why it was dropped? The answer is that the song originated in the 17th Century and was taken up by the army of King William III during the occupation of Ireland, with words intended to deride the Irish population and their Catholicism. The engineers who selected it for the World Service were unaware of its origins. It was dropped by the BBC after criticism when the song’s origins were pointed out. More about the song at en.wikipedia.org/‌wiki/‌Lillibullero.

Read More

Article: From Our Own Correspondent

A transcript of the ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ programme for 27th January 1994, first published in the ‘Wirebird’, the magazine of Friends of St Helena{2} #10, Autumn 1994{3}

We present this article for amusement, showing how listeners to the BBC World Service would have been introduced to St Helena in 1994.

‘From Our Own Correspondent’

In the midst of the South Atlantic, more than 5,000 miles from Britain, the Union Jack flies proudly over one of Britain’s oldest colonies. Lying well inside the tropics, the temperature and terrain have little in common with the mother country, but otherwise it could be a piece of Cornwall or Kent that long ago drifted south in a gale.

Decades-old Morris Minors, Hillman Hunters and Austin Healeys chug up and down St Helena’s steep mountain roads, while cub scouts march to the rather irregular tune of the local brass band and everywhere royal images stare down from the walls. It’s a land where a man is ‘Sir’ and a woman always ‘Maarm’. ‘Big Events’ take place at the church or W.I. and television{4} has yet to invade. In an age where ‘colonialism’ has become a dirty word, Saint Helenians, or ‘saints’, as they prefer to be known, are determined to stay pink on the map.

Visitors to this small remote island tend to get a warm welcome. Much of the reason is their rarity value. Before the Suez canal opened in 1869 more than a thousand ships called here each year. Now, there’s only one every two months, which brings mail, food and the occasional passenger. Those stepping ashore though given the lack of landing facilities, jumping might be more appropriate, will soon be disappointed if they’re looking for ethnic trinkets, South Sea dancing or unique local craft or dishes. The reason why soon became clear when I asked the manager of the local radio station what endemic music there was on St Helena. Tony Leo, whose nickname is Sidewinder (everybody has a nickname on this island) looked positively peeved and replied, British music of course. What did you expect; Steel bands, bongos and grass skirts? Still looking a bit hurt, he added I like the Smiths, the Rolling Stones and sometimes a bit of Country and Western, that’s very popular here.

The taste for all things British extends to banger and mash, bingo and imported radio programmes like the ‘Archers’ and the ‘Men from The Ministry’. It’s as though the islanders feel they’re more British than the British all of which has made the recent removal of their rights of residence in the U.K. a big bone of contention.

Ever since the late 16th century, St Helenians have held British citizenship with passports to prove it but now, in common with their counterparts in many other British colonies, they no longer have the right to live in the U.K. Not only that but within the next year a long standing work permit quota system is to be phased out, meaning they won’t be allowed to lake jobs in Britain either.

You might expect to find the resulting discontent simmering in the local pubs, or being voiced in rallies or marches in the capital, Jamestown. Instead, like many other things on the island, publically expressing such sentiments is left to outsiders. On this occasion, Bishop John Ruston, who heads the Anglican Church’s smallest diocese, has taken up the cudgels. Removing his dark framed spectacles, as if ready to rain blows upon those responsible, the normally mild mannered Bishop compared the British Government’s policy to that of the Nazis, who took away the German citizenship of Jews in the 1930s.

Tapping his finger on the table he added that many islanders, most of whom have a coffee coloured complexion due to centuries of inter-racial marriages, feel racism is at the bottom of it. Otherwise, he went on, why has the same restriction not been imposed on the white populations of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.

Most people here felt the policy has made them just as much prisoners of the island as Napoleon was during his days of exile here in the early 19th century. What, they ask, will their children, now studying G.C.S.E. and ‘A’ levels at the island’s gleaming new secondary school, be able to do with their exams? With only a handful of professional jobs on the island it’ll mean, they insist, that their offspring’s hard work will all be for nothing.

But not everyone’s bothered about being a prisoner here. ‘Vesty’, so named because of his choice of moth-eaten tank tops, is serving a nine month sentence at the island jail for growing marijuana. In fact, he seems quite happy doing porridge, particularly as he doesn’t have to make it. It’s cool here, he told me, everything comes to you, you don’t have to worry. After chatting to his fellow inmates about their regular tennis, fishing and swimming outings, I came back to quiz him further only to be told by the prison warder that he’d slipped out to the shops to get some wallpaper. So, obviously, not everything comes to you; a fact that’s becoming clear to Saints on both sides of the walls.

Initially I was surprised to hear few, if any, calls for independence. But the reason was soon obvious. The island is broke. Each year Britain hands over nearly nine million pounds of tax-payers’ money to help balance the books of her costliest colony. It is trying to reduce this by encouraging St Helenians to be more self-sufficient but with imports here now forty five times greater than exports, that won’t be easy. A big tourism promotion campaign is thought to be the answer. In a bid to woo foreign guests there are plans for an airport. A site has been found though the same can’t be said for the money.

The irony is that like perpetual pensioners people of all ages here fear change, they dread the disruption that tourism or prosperity might bring, yet worry even more that life might stay the same, in this far flung outpost of Empire.


{a} BBC Motto{b} Media Review Report, September 2016{3}


{1} Except, it seems, when broadcasting a football commentary, which is apparently too important to be interrupted by news…{2} The four ‘Wirebird’ publications should not be confused.{3} @@RepDis@@{4} Television actually arrived later that year.


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