Peterborough's new Ukrainian radio show with refugee host who fled home two hours before outbreak of war

Peterborough's new Ukrainian radio show is growing in popularity.Peterborough's new Ukrainian radio show is growing in popularity.
Peterborough's new Ukrainian radio show is growing in popularity.
"It’s gone beyond what we ever imagined.”

A Peterborough radio station’s new Ukrainian radio show, which is hosted by a refugee broadcaster who fled the country moments before the outbreak of the war, is growing in popularity.

Nazar Poliuk left Ukraine in February this year – crossing the Ukrainian border into Poland just two hours before the start of the conflict.

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The broadcaster and presenter, who previously appeared in films and on Ukrainian TV and radio, now hosts the Ukrainian radio show on Peterborough Community Radio (PCR FM) Extra alongside co-host Alla Irodenko – who helped bring him to the country as a refugee.

"It’s gone viral,” Alla, who is originally from Ukraine but now lives in Hampton Vale, said.

"There was no Ukrainian radio here and the Ukrainian people living in Peterborough want a radio station to make them feel at home.

“We give them the news they need from Ukraine and England, in both Ukrainian and English. We thought we would only get a few listeners, but we’ve had over 1,000 a day.

"It’s gone beyond what we ever imagined.”

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Alla left her job as an NHS health care assistant to become a community awareness volunteer, volunteering at Peterborough’s St Olga's Ukrainian Church, at New Road, where 16 lorryloads of aid have been sent directly to Ukraine.

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Alla said that Nazar, who only speaks Ukrainian, is working full-time alongside hosting the radio show – working night shifts until midnight before getting up to present the show in the morning.

"It was my idea but he knows what he’s doing and runs the show,” Alla said.

"We do song requests and sometimes we even run out of airtime to play them all – our phones don’t stop ringing.

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"We run competitions to win Ukrainian food and it’s all about making it feel a little bit more like home.

"PCR have been absolutely amazing – they’ve supported us with all of the equipment we need to make it possible.”

PCR FM is based at the Herlington Community Centre and you can tune in to the Ukrainian radio show on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10am to 12pm.