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BBC Radio 2 appoints first Artist in Residence

Thomas Small, a contemporary dance choreographer from Dundee has become BBC Radio 2’s first ever official Artist in Residence.

In association with digital arts organisation The Space, Radio 2 offered the unique opportunity for a working artist to win a golden pass to station events for 12 months in return for a minimum of four artistic creations.

Thomas Small, who is 38 years old and from Ballumbie in Dundee, says: “I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to be appointed the first BBC Radio 2 Artist in Residence. Following a knee jerk, lip tremble and a small wobble, I’m completely over the moon! This is an unrivalled opportunity to push my artistic practice forward with the support and guidance of a high-profile mentor. I’ve got some exciting projects planned to respond to the fantastic programme of Radio 2 events and I cannot wait to get stuck in.”

Thomas will be awarded a £15,000 bursary provided by The Space, who will separately cover all materials and expenses up to a maximum budget of £20,000. The artist’s work will be showcased on BBC Arts Online, the Radio 2 website and The Space website, and he will also have the opportunity to be mentored by a leading figure in the world of the arts.

The work was judged by a panel, including Sir Peter Blake, Radio 2 Arts Show presenter Claudia Winkleman, Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan and Anthony Lilley, interim CEO and Creative Director of The Space. Five shortlisted artists were invited to present their work to the panel at Radio 2 in London on 5 June 2015.

Bob Shennan says: “Tommy is an amazing talent. His skill and dynamism will bring a whole new creative dimension to some of Radio 2’s most iconic output.”

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Five BBC radio stations head to Manchester

BBC Radio 3, Radio 4, 5 live, 6 Music and Radio Manchester will all be broadcasting from the centre of Manchester during the International Festival this year.

A purpose built studio is being created for the live shows in ‘Festival Square’, which includes specials with Radio 4’s Front Row, Phil Williams on Radio 5 Live, Radio 6 Music’s Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie as well as Radio Manchester’s Becky Want and Sam Walker

BBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting from the Pavilion Theatre in front of a live studio audience with shows including Ian McMillan’s ‘cabaret of the word’, The Verb, The Early Music Show and Radio 3’s flagship drive time programme, In Tune with Suzy Klein.

6 Music’s Mark Radcliffe and Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark will also front a live special, showcasing a selection of the best music and performance from this year’s festival. The one-off programme will be recorded for a BBC Four special broadcast on Sunday 12 July.

Alongside the hub of Festival Square, Manchester International Festival has invited the BBC Philharmonic to perform the world premiere of young Liverpool composer Mark Simpson’s brand new work, The Immortal. The musical piece explores themes of love, death and the afterlife and will be performed at The Bridgewater Hall on Saturday 4 July.

Pat Connor, Head of Development and Events, BBC England says: “This brilliant bundle of collaborations and broadcast specials between the BBC and MIF really cements our ongoing commitment to the arts and in particular this wonderful festival. We will be giving audiences across the UK a front row seat to one of the most exciting cultural events of the year.

“I’m proud that every time MIF comes around, we raise the bar with what we do together, and in its 10th year I think it is testament to that fantastic partnership that we have such a lovely line up of treats for all audiences.”

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BBC World Service now available on the phone

Mobile phone users in Nigeria can now tune in to BBC World Service radio in English and Hausa by dialling a local phone number.

Calls to the number, 01 4405 222, are charged at local rate and offer different languages via a menu. Until now, BBC World Service has only been available in Nigeria via shortwave, online and satellite but this move should appeal to owners of the 132 million active mobile devices.

English-language radio is streamed live around the clock. Programmes in Hausa are streamed live at 06.30, 15.00 and 20.30 Nigeria Time and then repeated until the next programme is broadcast.

BBC Africa Editor Solomon Mugera says: “Thanks to this development, anybody with a mobile phone in Nigeria can listen to BBC World Service in English or Hausa at any time.”

The service is provided by ZenoRadio, where CEO Morris Berger says: “Thanks to BBC and our service, listeners in Nigeria can now stay connected to their favourite BBC content from any phone. As this is our first foray into Africa, we are proud to work with the BBC on this.”

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