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  • Durham OnAir

“Durham OnAir first radio station to offer subtitles for Southerners!”

Durham OnAir, the local radio station for County Durham, is to start offering subtitles alongside it’s programming to appease southerners living in the area! Since it’s launch in November, Durham OnAir has provided local programming and music for residents and businesses around County Durham.

Durham is known for it’s historic and unique dialect, but some of it’s listeners from the South are struggling to understand the presenters!

Robert Shafto, Programme Manger at Durham OnAir said “Hew! When a horde that some of them lads from doon sooth divent understand what w’ were saying, I thart, naaaaahhhhh, We cannat be hav’n that lyke! Lets give em some waords toh reed wiv tha eye’s n’ that!”

Anton Dec, Head of Translation Technology at Durham OnAir said “Obviously, offering subtitles on radio has been quite problematic. When developing the technology we realised that listeners can't actually SEE radio! We’ve worked really hard to solve the problem”

Listeners who want to take advantage of the subtitles will be able to read transcripts of the shows in a number of ways:

  • Transcripts can be delivered to listeners home address by traditional north east carrier pigeon.

  • All speech on Durham OnAir will be projected onto Durham Cathedral.

  • An alternative version of all Durham OnAir programs will be available as a podcast, presented by Jack Whitehall.

One listener, who didn't want to be named, said 'I love listening to Durham OnAir, but I've had to switch to Heart North East recently. At least I can understand what they're saying. It's cause most of it comes from London"

Alternative versions of popular songs will also be broadcast. While listeners in the north east can enjoy versions of “The Lambton Worm” and “Blaydon Races”, Southern listeners will be able to listen to non-stop Chas and Dave. Station management claim this is to help them feel “More at home”.

Durham OnAir broadcasts 24 hours a day on their app, on smart speakers and through their website at – They plan to launch on DAB radio later in 2021.


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