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BBC Radio 4 to drop Midweek for new arts shows

There are changes coming to Radio 4’s schedule from April 2017, when the station will launch two new arts programmes and bid farewell to Midweek.

Libby Purves, who has hosted Midweek for the last 33 years, is in talks to host other shows on BBC Radio 4, along with a new programme about theatre starting in April.

Libby says: “It is certainly important that Radio 4 should cover more fully the remarkable variety and adventurousness of British theatre at all levels around the country, and I am glad to be a part of its move towards this.”

Radio 4’s Controller Gwyneth Williams says: “Midweek, presented by the formidable broadcaster, Libby Purves, has provided countless memorable moments over many years. I want to thank all the guests and excellent producers who have brought such a degree of surprise and pleasure to our Wednesday mornings. Most of all my thanks, both personal and on behalf of listeners to Libby, for the outstanding job she has done as presenter for so long.

“The Radio 4 schedule has to evolve at the right moments in the station’s history and I want to bring the most compelling mix of programmes to our discerning listeners. I am proud to introduce a long-form arts interview series for Wednesday mornings as well as a new monthly show dedicated to theatre as part of our Saturday line-up.

“Theatre is having a golden moment and Libby is the perfect person to bring that story to the Radio 4 audience with her knowledge and passion, and I’m delighted that she will stay with us on Radio 4.”

The new half an hour theatre show will be broadcast once a month on Saturdays followed by a repeat during the week.

There’s also a new long form interview series with prominent figures from the arts world coming to Radio 4 featuring half-hour interviews between leading artists – including writers, musicians and poets. Each interview will have a specific purpose and enquiry at its heart, and the series will work as a chain, with most interviewees becoming the interviewer for their chosen guest. Commissioned for four series of six episodes throughout the year, the programme will be broadcast on Wednesday mornings at 9am, sharing the slot with other arts and factual commissions.

Both will come from BBC Radio Productions, current makers of Midweek.

02 December, 2016 more
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Midnight Mass to broadcast live on BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio is providing listeners with special religious Christmas programming this year, including Christmas Eve Midnight Mass from Westminster Abbey.

01 December, 2016 more
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BBC’s Bob Shennan to speak at Radiodays Europe

The new BBC Director of Radio Bob Shennan is lined up for a session at the next Radiodays Europe event in Paris.

30 November, 2016 more
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Robbie Williams to perform for BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley today announced that Robbie Williams will perform exclusively for the network in a special Radio 2 In Concert to be held on December 8.

28 November, 2016 more
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BBC backtracks on new Radio 2 Controller job

BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music will not have a Controller going forward, as previously announced by BBC Director of Radio Bob Shennan.

25 November, 2016 more
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Colin Paterson appointed BBC Radio Wales Editor

BBC Radio Scotland’s Colin Paterson is leaving the station to take over from Steve Austins as Editor of BBC Radio Wales.

22 November, 2016 more
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Amol Rajan is appointed as BBC Media Editor

BBC Asian Network presenter Amol Rajan has been appointed as the BBC’s first Media Editor.

21 November, 2016 more
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BBC says sorry to Buckingham Palace for sex jokes

The BBC has apologised to Buckingham Palace after 12 complaints were received about an episode of Don’t Make Me Laugh.

21 November, 2016 more
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Podcast: Live from the BBC Local Radio Awards

Trevor Dann meets some of the winners and guests at the BBC Local Radio Gillard Awards in Newcastle.

This is just one of the weekly podcasts produced and published by RadioToday, hosted by Trevor Dann and sponsored by Broadcast Bionics. See our archive on the RadioToday Programme channel here.

If you'd like to reccommend a topic for discussion, or join in one of our regular round-table shows, please email [email protected]

Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy the show, which also contains the latest radio news with Stuart Clarkson, and Radio Moments with David Lloyd.

17 November, 2016 more
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BBC’s Western House renamed as Wogan House

Western House, home of BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, has been renamed as Wogan House in memory of Sir Terry.

16 November, 2016 more
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BBC World Service to launch 11 new services

The World Service’s funding boost of £289m from the UK Government will fund an additional 11 different language services.

16 November, 2016 more
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Radio 1’s Ben Cooper to run BBC Asian Network

Ben Cooper will run the BBC Asian Network in addition to Radio 1 & 1 Xtra, as Bob Shennan moves to Director of Radio and Music from today.

08 November, 2016 more
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BBC radio presenter Sir Jimmy Young dies

Legendary radio presenter Sir Jimmy Young CBE has died at the age of 95.

07 November, 2016 more
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BBC Essex to celebrate 30 years of radio

BBC Essex’s celebrations to mark its 30th birthday are set to take place this weekend, marking its launch date of November 5th, 1986.

02 November, 2016 more
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Jazz FM provides more for BBC Music Jazz

The upcoming BBC Music Jazz pop-up service will feature 12 hours of programming from Jazz FM this year, an increase from four last year.

28 October, 2016 more
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Greg James to broadcast from BBC Music Awards

The BBC Music Awards, taking place in London this year, will include Greg James live backstage and from the Red Carpet on Radio 1 from 4-7pm.

28 October, 2016 more
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BBC Radio Scotland Music Extra to launch on DAB

A new eight-day pop up radio service in Scotland will broadcast in November, in the run up to St Andrew’s Day.

27 October, 2016 more
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Will Young to host BBC Music Jazz programme

Jazz fan Will Young will host a show on the BBC Music Jazz DAB station this year.

24 October, 2016 more
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Spanswick to replace Forrest on BBC locals

After four years, Mark Forrest is to leave the networked evening show on BBC Local Radio, to be replaced by Georgey Spanswick.

24 October, 2016 more
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BBC Radio 1 names four 2016 Teen Heros

BBC Radio 1 has named the four inspirational Radio 1 Teen Heroes of 2016.

20 October, 2016 more