Sara Cox makes Radio 2's Sounds of the 80s
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Sara Cox makes Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s

A brand new show playing nothing but 80s music is starting on BBC Radio 2 next month, giving Sara Cox a regular slot on the station.

The former Radio 1 presenter will start the new Saturday night 10-midnight show on October 5th, with Boy George as her first guest.

Sara says: “I’m completely over the moon to be hosting an Eighties shindig every Saturday night on Radio 2. Dig out your lace gloves and ra-ra skirts and join me for the BEST music from the BEST decade.”

The new show no doubt takes its name and inspiration from the current  Sounds of the 70s show with Johnnie Walker and Sounds Of The 60s, presented by Brian Matthew.

Bob Shennan, Controller, BBC Radio 2, 6 Music, Asian Network and Popular Music, says: “Sounds Of The 80s was a show waiting to happen and I’m happy to be welcoming Sara to Radio 2. Sara has been a regular holiday cover presenter on the network for 18 months and we know the audience have really taken to her.”

In other programme changes announced today, Steve Lamacq ends his regular Thursday evening show, Dave Pearce’s Dance Years returns as a 13-part series in 2014, and Jo Whiley’s weeknight show will be extended to from 90 minutes to two hours each Monday – Thursday from 30 September.

Jo says: “I’m delighted that the show will now be two hours long. More time means more music, playing brilliant new artists and much loved classic songs. It means I have more time to hang out with my radio family in the evenings.”

Steve Lamacq will return to the station in 2014 with a number of Britpop programmes. His daily 6 Music drive show continues.

Also, Clare Teal’s Sunday night show (10-11pm) will be extended as the network’s two big band music shows (Sun 10-11pm and Mon 9.30-10pm) are combined into a single live two-hour programme every Sunday from 9-11pm. The programme will include a wide variety of Big Band recordings, archive material and special guests and incorporate music from the 1920s to the present day.

Clare says: “Big Band and swing music has been a passion of mine since I can remember. I feel honoured and so excited at the thought of sitting in a room every week for two whole hours, sharing some of the greatest big band tunes ever written, both old and new, with listeners who already love this kind of music and to the many others who don’t realise they do… yet!”

Lewis Carnie, Radio 2 Head of Programmes, says: “I wanted to expand our Big Band programming but, with reduced funds across the BBC, we could no longer afford to commit to regular Big Band recordings. However, we are aware that our listeners love this kind of music, so we are giving our Sunday night audience an extended two-hour session of the tunes they love from the broadest range of Big Band music.”

Russell Davies’ show will move to Monday nights for 26 weeks a year, with Jools Holland returning for the remainder.

Nigel Ogden: The Organist Entertains and Listen To The Band presented by Frank Renton will move to Thursday evenings at 11pm and 11.30pm respectively. These shows replace Steve Lamacq’s Rock College. Steve will be returning to Radio 2 in 2014 to celebrate Britpop with a number of programmes, and can still be heard presenting every weekday on BBC Radio 6 Music from 4-7pm.

Other upcoming shows include a special on the 50th birthday of Doctor Who and, on the evening of 22 November, the station will be broadcasting The Assassination Of JFK: Minute-By-Minute, produced by TBI Media.

Dermot O’Leary and Jeremy Vine will be broadcasting live, telling the story of the momentous three hours from when President Kennedy was shot in Dealey Plaza to Lyndon B. Johnson’s swearing in on Air Force One.

Jeremy says: “This will be a gripping way of following one of the last century’s most cataclysmic events as it happened. I am delighted to be hosting this programme with Dermot. We are both fascinated with the story, and delighted to be working with the same producers who gave us the award-winning Titanic: Minute-By-Minute and the Dambusters anniversary programmes.”

On the changes, Bob Shennan said: “Although we have had to make difficult decisions in order to make savings in line with the rest of the BBC, I’ve taken this opportunity to create some new programmes and make changes to reinvigorate the Radio 2 schedule.”

0 7 5307 10 September, 2013 Station News Tuesday, September 10th, 2013


  1. Len Groat

    .. and (of course) after her HUGE ratings and success on the Radio 1 breakfast show :-(

    I suppose we should be grateful she is at least a, err.. ‘dj’ and not a singer or ‘personality’ !?

  2. Craig Strong

    If only the world of radio outside the BBC would take on those considered to be too old to continue on air like the Beeb does, making jobs for the boys, or girls in this case.

  3. Andrew H

    No problem with a Sounds of the 80’s programme, but why Sara Cox as a presenter? What relationship does she have with that era? I’d have thought someone like Mike Read, Steve Wright or Simon Bates would have been more appropriate. I like Coxy as a broadcaster but don’t understand her significance as a presenter for this. Also, will miss Dave Pearce’s Dance Years. Glad to hear that Jo Wiley is being, er, extended.

  4. Dinky Doo

    I guess I should add that some local BBC stations are thankfully still putting out some great programmes similar to what we have have lost on Radio 2 but not in my area so I am thankful of the I Player so I can listen but often(the feed)is sadly in mono. And much of the music deserves to be heard in stereo,

  5. Radio Geordie

    Looks to me like they are quietly trying to get rid the old specialist shows (Folk, Country, Jazz etc.) by moving them to the “dead zone” (times when listener numbers are low), thus making the service more a “gold” station.

    Why not just go the whole hog and shove them onto Radio 3 making it a specialist music station. After all, they could do with more listeners and then at least, they could then justify keeping the service.

  6. Lee

    “The former Radio 1 Presenter” shes still a freelance presenter at Radio 1 until of the year.She’s in for Fearne during the Christmas period.

  7. Paul Jones

    What a shame Dave Pearce Dance Years is ending. A good show presented by a good presenter. I’m in agreement with Radio 2 getting an 80s show, but why not 6-8PM when people are going out?
    With all these changes it looks like Radio 2 is heading younger…

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