I LOVE my radio, Taffy sang back in 1986. Back in the 1980s, when I was growing up, I loved my radio too, and have done so ever since.

When I was 12, I achieved what at the time seemed the greatest accolade possible – having a letter read out on Radio One. The DJ in question, Bruno Brookes complemented me on my letter saying, and I quote directly, ‘I’ll send you a pen in the post, mate’. That pen was the proof needed to convince my disbelieving schoolfriends I’d been on the radio. Unfortunately, despite writing Bruno Brookes a second letter reminding him, said pen never arrived. A lesson for life learned there.

Since the 1980s, radio has continued to survive and thrive as a medium. That might seem surprising, given its sparkly competition, but there is something about its intimacy that makes radio unique – the late Terry Wogan once said that the secret to good radio was to talk to one person, rather than think about the millions listening in.

Over the last year, radio has had one of its sporadic shake-ups: Radios 1, 2 and 6 have all changed presenters on their breakfast shows, while John Humphreys has announced his stepping down from Radio 4’s Today Programme by the end of the year. More locally, it was reported earlier this month that Spire FM, as part of the UKRD Group, has been bought by Bauer Media.

UKRD Group consists of a group of fifteen local radio stations, including Pirate FM and Minster FM (a point for each if can guess where they broadcast). All the UKRD stations focus on local content, with the requisite reward in listening figures: numbers for 2017 showed that more people listened to Spire in Salisbury than Radios 2 and 4.

Bauer Media is a much bigger outfit, owning magazines including Heat and Grazia, and radio stations such as Kiss, Absolute and Magic. What their intentions are with Spire remains unclear. When I contacted Bauer, they said, ‘Anytime we make an acquisition, it will be business as usual while we work with the existing teams to fully understand the businesses and so it is too early for us to comment’. On Internet radio forums, there is a bit more in the way of speculation – might Bauer use the Spire frequency for one of their bigger brands? One radio fan noted that Bauer now owns a string of FM licenses from Hampshire down to Somerset – could these be combined into one larger southern station?

One hopes not. Spire FM does what it does extremely well and it would be a shame if it was swallowed up. As it is, Salisbury isn’t the best served when it comes to radio: the way the DAB masts are placed means that while Southampton and Swindon have an abundance of digital radio stations to listen to, Salisbury lags in the bottom 17 per cent of the country for digital choice.

Among the stations we can’t tune our digital radios to is Virgin Radio, latest home of Chris Evans, and new classical station Scala. Scala, ironically, is one of the media partners for this year’s Salisbury International Arts Festival. Or maybe that’s a deliberate move – because you can’t listen to the coverage on the radio, you’ll have to buy a ticket instead!