The General Election coverage for BBC Radio will feature a range of debates, comedy and interviews.
Bob Shennan, Director for BBC Radio and Music, says: “BBC Radio will bring listeners high quality and impartial content throughout the election campaign, keeping them across the big moments as they unfold and scrutinising key policy issues ahead of polling day. We have interviews and debates with politicians tailored to different audiences, insightful conversations with experts and voters nationwide, as well as the wittiest and timeliest satire.”
Radio 1’s Tina Daheley will host Newsbeat: The Final Debate in Manchester on Tuesday 6 June, with an audience made up of 18-25 year olds. It will feature leading Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP, Plaid, Green and UKIP politicians and will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra, Asian Network and the BBC News Channel at 8.30pm, then on BBC One at 10.40pm. The debate will also be streamed live on social media.
At BBC Radio 2, as part of his Election coverage, Jeremy Vine will be broadcasting live shows from Maidenhead – the constituency of Prime Minster Theresa May – today, 16 May, and from Islington – the constituency of Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn – on 17 May, and will be canvassing the opinions of local people in both those areas. He will do leader interviews too and will look at the issues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
On BBC Radio 4 throughout election night, Carolyn Quinn and James Naughtie will present Vote 2017, reporting on the key moments as they happen from 10pm on 8 June until 6am on 9 June.
In a new weekly four-part series Electionomics, starting on 17 May at 8.45pm, the BBC’s Business Editor Simon Jack and Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed will come together to scrutinise important economic and business election themes, giving the inside track on a campaign already dominated by arguments over taxes, living standards and prospects for trade after Brexit.
They will start each programme with a review of the latest economic and business issues to emerge in the campaign. Then they will focus on one key issue; explaining why it matters, how differing policies have evolved and what is at stake. To help them, Kamal and Simon will be joined each week by a business leader or economist with directly relevant expertise. Informal yet informative, Electionomics will offer a refreshingly clear take on the most important business and economic stories of the 2017 campaign.
Fi Glover presents three special editions of The Listening Project (Tuesday 23, 30 May and 6 June, 9.30am), catching the conversations voters are having about the election, and life in Britain in general, as the country goes to the polls. The Listening Project Goes To The Polls will broadcast weekly in the run up to polling day, eavesdropping on the arguments, ambitions, bewilderment and despair of voters facing their democratic decisions. Hearing from people around the country and with a wide range of opinions – from first time voters, to resolute abstainers – Fi will curate these conversations into a refreshing insight into what Britain is really talking about in June 2017.
Woman’s Hour will look at the key issues concerning female voters. Women from Sunderland, Weston-super-Mare, Livingston and Methyr Tydfil highlight the issues that are most relevant to their families and community. And in the Woman’s Hour election debate, leading figures from political parties discuss how they think their manifesto pledges will really deliver for women.
Miles Jupp hosts an election special of The News Quiz on Friday 9 June at 6.30pm. Usually recorded on Thursday evenings, this episode will be recorded just hours before broadcast on Friday lunchtime, allowing Miles and the panel to have the very latest on all the seats and swings after a day of people excitedly using tiny pencils to put crosses in boxes up and down the land.
Miles Jupp says: “I’m really looking forward to the excitement of recording the show much closer to broadcast. More than that though, I’m looking forward to having a Thursday night off.”
In the lead up to the General Election, Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis present three special episodes of The Vote Now Show (Sunday 21, 28 May and 4 June, 7.15pm), offering a satirical round-up of election news and comment from comedians, journalists and commentators. Recorded just hours before transmission, the team will look across the political spectrum, giving their own unique take on the election news and shenanigans. The shows will come from London and Birmingham and will feature Now Show regulars such as Andy Zaltzman, Pippa Evans and Luke Kempner.
Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis said: “It’s a straight choice between strong and satirical, or a comedy of chaos. Hopefully we’ll manage both.”
The Today programme’s live audience discussions started in Bath this week on Monday 15 May and will also broadcast a dozen or so programmes from around the country, each anchored by one of the presenters and examining a key election topic in detail, illustrating the issues involved with extended case studies.
In addition to his role as Today presenter, Nick Robinson will also be doing a series of specials to air on Today and BBC Breakfast. He will be meeting focus groups from different demographics to hear what’s influencing the way they vote in the up-coming General Election. And Political Thinking with Nick Robinson will continue to reveal what is really going on in politics, with his weekly take broadcast on Saturdays at 11am and available to download as a podcast.
Also in addition to the interviews on the Today programme and special programming across Radio 4, there will also be extended editions of Any Answers (3 June, 2pm), More or Less (2 June, 4.30pm), The World At One (30 May – 2 June, 5-7 June, and 9 June, 1pm), and The World This Weekend (14, 21 and 28 May, and 4 and 11 June, 1pm).
BBC Radio 5 live will embark on its most ambitious road trip ever with a Marginal Mystery Tour of 15 marginal locations around the UK.
The station will be hearing from younger voters in coming weeks, acting as a barometer of the country’s political mood as it broadcasts from Bath to Birmingham and from Enniskillen to Bridgend.
On air schedules will target those in their 20s, 30s and 40s and will be bolstered by podcasts and vlogs, giving audiences different options on how they stay abreast of developments in the crucial weeks leading up to the vote.
Starting on 22 May in Bath, the BBC 5 live Marginal Mystery Tour will see a special 5 live Canvass Van criss-cross the UK in a 1000 plus mile road trip the length and breadth of the country. 5 live presenters including Colin Murray, Nicky Campbell, Nihal Arthanayake, Stephen Nolan, Rachel Burden, Emma Barnett, Anna Foster, Sarah Brett and Tony Livesey will all join the tour at key points.
The road trip will be complemented by outside broadcasts and audience events around the country, delivered by 5 live Breakfast, Daily, Afternoon Edition, Drive, Lates and also including Wake Up To Money.
The station’s Breakfast show with Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden will be inviting itself into people’s kitchens, sharing a fry up and probing the issues that matter to families and which reflect a wider UK debate.
Nicky Campbell will meet face to face with his callers to hear their views, and 5 live’s Afternoon Edition will be exploring similarity and difference in a new strand called In Common meeting people who share one thing in common but whose political outlook differs.
On Wednesday 7 June 5 live will open up its phone lines all day in a bid to hear voices from every single constituency in the UK – 650 in total. The last time it did this was pre EU Referendum when over 4000 people bombarded the station’s phone lines desperate to get on air.
Election night itself will be hosted by Stephen Nolan in Salford and Emma Barnett in London, who will be joined by the UK’s brightest political bloggers and commentators, all on hand as the result’s roll in.
Digitally, a new weekly political vlog Talking B@llots, presented by Calum MacDonald, will tour the UK exploring key election issues suggested by a member of the public, while Young Female And Northern from the 5 live News Digital Pilots Team will look at what matters to younger women in the North.
Rozina Breen, Head of News at BBC Radio 5 live, says: “We’re really excited to launch our most ambitious election campaign yet, delivering the UK’s biggest election conversation and getting the most diverse voices on air from Dumfries to Skegness and Bury to Cambridge.”
BBC Asian Network will host a Big Election Debate live from Birmingham University on Friday 26 May. Nihal Arthanayake will be joined by a panel of senior politicians and an audience of largely young British Asians who will lead the questioning within the 90 minute long programme that will uniquely address issues of importance to the British Asian community. The Big Election Debate will be broadcast live on Asian Network at 10am and repeated later on the BBC News Channel.
BBC Local Radio
Across England BBC Local Radio stations will be hosting around 80 election debates, many in front of live audiences, allowing people to talk directly to the candidates hoping for their vote. The debates will take place in the heart of communities across England, with locations confirmed including Coventry Transport Museum, Abingdon County Hall Museum and Chequer Mead Theatre, East Grinstead, and will feature on digital platforms and social media.
BBC Radio Sheffield will be taking over the iconic Sheffield nightclub The Leadmill to host a special debate in partnership with The Sheffield Star on 24 May. First-time voters including students, 6th formers and apprentices will have the chance to grill candidates on how they plan to win over young voters. BBC Radio Leeds will be hosting a debate at Dye House Gallery, Bradford College hearing from West Yorkshire’s South Asian community.
Across the country hustings will be held at locations varying from hairdressers to pubs, BBC Radio Berkshire will host a debate at Bracknell and Wokingham College giving first-time voters their say on what they want from their elected representatives, and BBC Radio Stoke will host a first-time voters debate at Newcastle College on 18 May.
BBC Radio Solent is hosting four separate election debates, featuring the constituencies of Portsmouth South, Mid Dorset and North Poole, the Isle of Wight and Southampton Test. BBC Radio London will simulcast a debate with BBC One on 30 May, and BBC Radio Kent showcase a satirical political debate show, Never Mind The Ballots, challenging local candidates on the issues facing voters and will be holding a streamed live election debate in the last week of the campaign.
Controller of English Regions, David Holdsworth says: “Local Radio takes the Election debate to the hearts of communities, where people live, study, work and socialise. In around 80 debates, held across England, voters have the chance to question the candidates vying to represent them about local issues as well as the national debate. ”