Changes on Radio 2’s overnight schedule will see Alex Lester moved to weekends and the 3am to 5am slot filled with repeats.
A new in-house show, After Midnight, will air 12am till 3am with Janie Long Monday to Thursday and Alex Friday to Sunday.
Janice Long says: “My audience have been hounding me for ages to go back to three hours so it gives me great pleasure to give them what they want on wonderful BBC Radio 2. I love keeping the nation going whether they are working or just having a late one.”
Alex Lester says: “At last a chance to make weekends extra special, brimming with top tunes, captivating conversation and sustenance aplenty for insomniacs, night owls and worker bees – all are welcome!”
In other changes, Huey Morgan and Bob Harris’s weekend programmes will move to 3-6am (from midnight-3am) on Saturday and Sunday early mornings, respectively, replacing Richard Allinson (Saturday and Sunday, 3-6am) who will continue to deputise on key shows across the network.
Richard Allinson says: “Whilst I’ll miss my regular Radio 2 show, it does require a level of commitment that, for the time being, I can now direct towards a new range of future projects with my production company. Radio 2 is a very special bunch of people which it has never felt anything less than a total thrill to be a part of, and I’m looking forward to stepping in as and when required.”
On weekday early mornings from 3am to 5am, Radio 2 will be repeating other recent programmes. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights will broadcast Sounds Of The 60s with Brian Matthew, Sounds Of The 70s with Johnnie Walker and Sounds Of The 80s with Sara Cox. Thursday and Friday night programme details will be confirmed at a later date.
Bob Shennan, Controller, BBC Radio 2, says: “I’m delighted that Janice and Alex will be hosting the new show, bringing music and entertainment to our faithful night-time audience. We have had to make some difficult decisions in light of our reduced budgets, which is why we are reducing some of our live originations overnight, but I’m pleased that we are able to offer this new live programme seven nights a week. I’d like to thank Richard for his contribution to weekends and his continuing association with the network in the future.”