Specialist output changes planned for BBC Radio 2

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Some of BBC Radio 2’s one-hour documentaries and specialist music shows are moving from weeknights to weekends in the new year.

The Radio 2 Rock Show with Johnnie Walker and Jools Holland’s show will now move from Monday nights at 9pm to Saturday nights at 8pm. Each of the shows will be broadcast alternately in quarterly series throughout the year.

Radio 2’s one-hour specials and presenter-led genre programmes, which have previously included Levi Roots on reggae, Top Brass with James Morrison and Will Young’s Essential R&B, will now be broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays at 9pm.

Clare Teal will continue to play swing and big band in a new hour-long format to Radio 2 listeners on Sunday nights at 10pm, whilst Moira Stuart and Don Black will continue to share the 11pm Sunday evening slot with laid-back jazz and classic songwriting.

The Cerys Matthews Blues Show (Mon), Jamie Cullum (Tues), The Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe (Weds) and Bob Harris Country (Thurs) will all move from 8pm-9pm to 9pm-10pm.

The changes form part of a new weekday evening show hosted by Jo Whiley from 7pm till 9pm, and a new late show with Trevor Nelson playing Soul, R ‘n’ B, Dance, Disco and Reggae from 10pm.



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Posted on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 at 12:25 pm by Roy Martin

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34 Comments
  1. Mark Levy says

    I’m really trying to make sense of these changes

  2. Allan Wallace says

    Further evidence of muddled and incoherent scheduling by the Radio 2 management.

  3. Fred says

    No sense what-so-ever.
    Are the BBC Management trying to push listeners to their Commercial rivals?

    1. Mike Rose says

      I would hardly call it a push of listeners to their Commercial rivals. It’s not as if Radio 2 are playing Ed Sheeran every 90 minutes and still reviving Will Smith’s “Miami” 5 times a week at least.

      1. Neal says

        No but year on year Radio 2 are turning away from what they should be doing which is continuing with their specialist shows to cater for a more minority audience as against cutting them back and generally messing about with their scheduling in favour of chasing ratings, and being PC at whatever cost.

  4. Joe Smith says

    I remember when the BBC was a public service broadcaster.

    Now it seems to be the exact opposite.

  5. Adrian says

    It may be the last straw for the older end of audience.First they take away the late-night specialist shows,then put a mainstream pop one on-now a soul and disco show just at the time of night when there should be something more relaxing.They used to do classical music and religious stuff on Sunday night which relatives enjoyed,now the jazz/band music is being cut and possibly replaced with R & B or Reggae etc which will not go down well at 9 on a Sunday evening.Yes I know stations have to move with the times but Radio 2 is supposed to be catering for everyone over 35 and they are clearly trying to take on commercial radio with all this sidelining of specialist programmes.8pm is a strange time to put a rock show on a Saturday evening too-suppose they think anything can be shunted into the slot as everybody is watching tv anyway.I know people who have for years been Radio 2 loyal listeners that have had enough and will be moving elsewhere.

    1. Kenny Philips says

      I think that they may use the Sunday 9pm for the documentary type shows (or Bill Kenwright type shows) with Saturday for the short series music shows

  6. Steve B says

    It’s such a mess now. It rather reminds me of the days of the jarring schedules of David Jacobs and David Hamilton.
    There should be a consistent sound with clearly defined specialist output.
    I find the music on Magic too predictable but they certainly know how to programme a radio statio

  7. Sarah Clifford says

    Radio 2 need to get back to basics bring Richard Allison back we should have a 2 jazz show on a Sunday night and a Irish show from 8om till 12 pm and over Xmas from 23 Dec till 2 January from 8pm till 10pm a sound of the 50s show

  8. Sarah Clifford says

    We need a two hour jazz show on Sunday evening

  9. Sarah Clifford says

    The government needs to sort out radio 2 schedules

  10. Sarah Clifford says

    The public should have a say on the schedules

  11. Foxy says

    The changes at Radio 2 and the poor scheduling, added to the loss of presenters are a bridge too far, in these days when there is far more choice the BBC has let down it loyal listeners, there are regionals, both BBC and independent and community stations providing a far better service for listeners these days. The obsession with TV celebrities has ruined Radio 2 most of them know very little about music, it’s very sad in my opinion

  12. Dan Dean says

    Mike Rose is the only one here who has any knowledge of R2 and it’s remit. They are doing what a BBC public service broadcaster is suppose too , providing a variety of “entertainment!”, unlike the commercial stations who are simply playing the same twenty songs all day , every day, because the remit for any commercial business is revenue. Sarah…why would Jazz deserve two hours?…how would the public have a say…

    1. Pat says

      I’ve been a listener to Radio 2 for many years so I have plenty of knowledge of it.As for two hours of jazz-there used to be a lot more than that on Radio 2-you could just as well say why 12 hours of soul and dance music-it may be more popular but many other stations are providing that,Radio 2 shouldn’t be chasing commercial audiences.

    2. Chris Moore says

      I’ve given up trying to put forward sensible thoughts about Radio 2 changes on here, it’s like trying to put soot in alphabetical order.

      1. Tina says

        Totally agree with you Chris! Because they won’t listen to me, I’ve given up listening to the radio completely now. The sound of silence is much more pleasant.

      2. Joe Smith says

        How pompous to believe your thoughts are sensible.

        Mind you the last time you posted you did apologise for your career so it seems you do speak sense at times.

        1. Allan Wallace says

          Chris (who he?) Moore’s “sensible thoughts” are based on his decades of experience in the industry when he broadcast to three sheep in the Welsh valleys.

  13. Anthony Laking says

    Any one suggest a good station I can listen to now that Radio 2 has gone to the dogs?

    1. Adrian says

      Depends what you like to listen to-there are plenty of stations on the Internet,some with presenters some with non-stop music.Most of the stations I listen to are not from the UK but I’m sure you’d find lots of stations you’d enjoy.It’s a question of what music you particularly like and whether you want commercial free,stations with presenters etc,etc.

    2. Tina says

      United Artists is pretty good

  14. Deborah Carrington says

    Surely the BBC would have taken heed of the outcry over what happened to what was the excellent Drivetime
    If it ain’t broke don’t fix it springs to mind. Radio 2 audiences are being pushed away and seeking different stations to listen to which is a great shame.

  15. Allan Wallace says

    Once again, we have Chris (who he?) Moore being rude and condescending about all the contributors who offer far more intelligent comments than he is ever likely to make. The very good news is that he has “given up”.

  16. Nick Cooke says

    What a mess. No doubt some muddled political correctness nonsense based decision again. Makes as much sense as the Simon Mayo, Jo Whiley show shambles. Still as long as the programme controller is ticking the right boxes all’s well with the Beeb. I’m off to explore the world of commercial radio. Shame.

  17. Phil says

    Simple , BBC saving money. Radio 2 was once a music Chanel. Now instead of informed comments or professional whit between tracks , we have some dead beat member of the general public telling us “they are going home open a jar of pasta sauce and cut their toenails” Rivetting stuff if you rely on A.I. because you are lacking in the naturally gifted sort. However it’s cheap, make huge salaries more affordable.

  18. Kenny Philips says

    So the 4 hours of specialist programmes/features/documentaries, currently on 9-10pm Monday to Thursday are being cut to 3 hours. Prior to May 2018 there were 6 hours (Monday to Wednesday 10-12).

    I thought that when it was announced that Jo Whiley was returning to evenings that this would be a good time to gain favour by reintroducing live overnights.
    With 9-11 specialists (currently 8-10) then 11pm -2am and 2am-5am with maybe Geoff Lloyd and OJ Borg filling these shows (unfortunately Janice and Alex don’t look like returning). Even if Lewis wants Trevor Nelson he could be on 11-2 with OJB 2-5. Rather than all Trevor’s programme being Rhythm Nation maybe just the first hour with midnight to 2 more general music. Still keeping his Saturday evening show. This would have caused less disruption to the documentaries, music features currently 9-10. The Johnnie Walker/Jules Holland strand appears to have just been slotted in somewhere where there was a gap. Is it now expected that people will listen to shows on iplayer (sorry bbcsounds)? In saying that we used to have quality shows on a Saturday evening in the days of Paul Gambaccini and Stuart Maconie.

  19. Darren Plumpton says

    Why not turn Radio Two permanently into what was the pop up station that celebrated Radio One’s fortieth birthday Radio One Vintage.
    Of course it would be have to have a new name, ie Radio Two Vintage, because Radio One Vintage was very well received.
    Turn R2 into a national gold station during the day and their specialist shows at night from eight pm to five am.
    Radio Two seems to have lost it’s way at the moment maybe a relaunch is what is wanted with a whole new schedule that befits Britain’s most listened to station.

  20. M F Bown says

    What happened Radio 2,used to listen all the time until Janice and Alex got the boot.We have two types of change in this world good change and bad change,this is bad change again

  21. Tony says

    I’ve lost the will to live!!
    What are they doing?
    What next!! Ken Bruce to go??
    I’m off to my local station Swansea sound.
    Enjoy whats not left!
    Tony.

  22. Gordon Monks says

    Shambles . From Tony Blackburn taking over sound of the 60’s and then moving it to a 6am slot it’s been down hill all the way . Breakfast and drive will be bereft of listeners and nights are going to be the same .

  23. DaveP says

    Think Lewis Carnie is more interested in ‘z’ list celebs these days to fill the slots. No radio, music knowledge or broadcasting needed anymore at Radio2. Janice and Alex (both great communicators) long gone and seems Simon M and Chris E have seen the light also. Real radio broadcasters like Tony B hidden away & not even given any promotion. Get on Big Brother and await the call.

  24. Pat says

    Radio 2 is supposed to cater for specialist music enthusiasts especially now that commercial radio largely doesn’t-if not why is the BBC allowed to carry on being more like commercial radio?.In it’s heyday Capital Radio -famous mostly for it’s pop music-put out specialist programmes for something in excess of 30 hours a week in common with many other ILR’s.I’m not suggesting that the commercial stations should do that now but that the BBC should be made to do so otherwise they don’t have enough points of difference to get the funding they currently do.From January Radio 2 will have around 30 hours but around half of that will be Soul,Reggae and Dance stuff,in my eyes this is very uneven,given the country,folk and jazz,blues,vintage music get barely an hour,not to mention the shows recently dropped.It is not good enough!.

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