BBC Radio 4 is to broadcast a programme this Saturday exploring the rise and fall of gay radio.

Out on Air has been scheduled to coincide with February’s LGBT History Month.

The programme will examine how homosexuality on the airwaves went from taboo to mainstream in the space of a decade.

In 1993 gay radio quite suddenly came out with the first gay programme on Radio 4.

It was not an easy journey. The history of LGBT radio was fraught with battles between nervous radio bosses, impassioned presenters, and brave voices that needed to be heard.

Out on Air will reveal the real LGBT influence on mainstream radio and ask why the gay communities’ many voices struggled to find safe passages across the radio waves long after there was dedicated programming for ethnic and other minority groups.

LGBT History Month is the brainchild of Schools Out, the education campaign group.

It aims to uncover hidden histories, to reclaim our position in the curriculum and in wider society, and to celebrate LGBT identities and culture.

Schools Out co-chair Sue Sanders welcomed the Radio 4 documentary:

“Like never before, we’re seeing and hearing stories of LGBT people and communities across the UK as they celebrate their histories with LGBT History Month 2007.

“The history of LGBT radio is one such history that demands to be told: fascinating yet shameful, daring but delightful in the telling.

“Like the lives of LGBT people, the history of gay radio went from invisibility to pride. Out on Air promises to be an intriguing programme.

“The history of LGBT radio really needed people to tune in, so that we could be out.”

Out on Air will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 this Saturday, 10th February, at 8pm