Test transmissions of NME Radio begin this week, with the new FM/DAB/internet radio station set to feature a host of well-known DJs, comedians such as Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant and regular features from NME editorial staff.

The initiative is being managed and overlooked by Sammy Jacob, who was responsible for the launch of alternative station XFM back in 1997.

Jacob said: "What makes NME Radio presenters special is their genuine passion for the music, the station and all it represents - not to mention being truly wonderful people as well. I'm delighted they have chosen to join and share their passion with us," says Jacob.

Ex-XFM DJs lined up

Presenters for the launch line-up include former Xfm DJ Claire Sturgess and Neil Cole, currently a presenter on ‘blokey’ digital TV channel Dave.

Other presenters will include Chris Martin, Uncut magazine's Michael Bonner, and NME magazine's Alex Miller presenting a feature on new and up-and-coming bands to watch out for.

Gervais and Merchant

Perhaps the highest profile presenters involved in the test transmissions will be Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington, who started their radio career back in the early days of XFM. The trio’s show will premiere on June 9

It will be interesting to see how NME Radio fares in the increasingly competitive digital and internet radio market. The full launch of the station takes place later in June.

For more check out www.nme.com/radio