BBC World Service is boosting its music, arts and factual programming this autumn, and linking up with BBC Music for new shows.
The new schedule includes a brand new arts strand, three new music programmes and a new weekly strand for landmark factual series exploring contemporary issues and stories.
BBC World Service and BBC Music will join forces to launch three new monthly programmes. BBC Radio 6 Music presenter, singer and reporter Cerys Matthews will have her own show, BBC Music On The World Service With Cerys Matthews, celebrating all genres and eras of music on a musical journey joining the dots between early pioneers and contemporary performers; Music Extra will present a selection of music documentaries and special programmes from all of the BBC radio networks; and BBC Introducing will see Radio 1’s Huw Stephens showcase new British music for a worldwide audience.
The new programmes, plus the World Service’s existing monthly music programme Global Beats, will air in rotation across the month, giving global audiences an hour-long weekly instalment of new music from around the world and within the UK, and explore the musical connections that stretch across countries.
Mary Hockaday, Controller of BBC World Service English, says: “News and current affairs remains the heart of the World Service, but there’s room for more breadth and depth – guiding listeners through a complex world and offering more culture and music – and our new schedule will deliver a richer mix of bold programmes and great talent to reflect the breadth of our listeners’ interests. An innovative new arts strand will sit where arts and news collide, new music programmes will showcase the BBC’s outstanding musical expertise for our global audience, and I’m also introducing a new home for distinctive factual series where we’ll take a deeper look over several episodes at the big questions of our time.”
The new factual strand, The Compass, will provide a home for longer factual series to explore topics in greater depth.
New arts strand The Cultural Frontline will see writers, reporters, thinkers and artists send in dispatches from their part of the world, investigating the ways that culture – from art and design to architecture, literature and performance – is responding to and changing the world they live in.
Steve Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor for BBC World Service, says: “Music is a vital part of people’s lives globally. We want to celebrate the best music being created in the UK and around the world and explore how music is connected across countries and languages. By teaming up with BBC Music, we can capitalise on the BBC’s extensive archive, iconic DJs and authoritative presenters with interviews, documentaries and special features on a range of musical trends, themes and history.”