Johnnie Walker’s Rock Show extended at Radio 2

BBC Radio 2’s The Rock Show with Johnnie Walker has been extended to a year-round programme in the latest schedule update at the station.

The show is currently presented by Huey Morgan but Johnnie will return to the station in the spring, produced by Liz Barnes for Wisebuddah, every Saturday night from 8-9pm.

In other upcoming highlights at the station:

  • Friday Night is Music Night features Michael Bolton in concert, celebrates David Bowie and comes live from the Cheltenham Jazz Festival
  • James Morrison performs live from Cheltenham Jazz Festival
  • Ken Bruce and Graham Norton present Eurovision coverage from Tel Aviv
  • Pete Tong presents a four-part house music series
  • Elaine Paige presents highlights of The Tony Awards from New York

Helen Thomas, Head of Content Commissioning, Radio 2, says: “We have been looking at ways to have a regular rock show for years. Now, with the recent schedule changes on the network, I’m very glad to say we are able to give fans a year-round Saturday night Rockfest.”

Johnnie Walker says: “I am so pleased that the enthusiasm and loyalty of rock music fans have been rewarded with a weekly show, running all year. I am delighted to be able to play the music that we all love every Saturday evening – from the new bands to the classics from the past decades.”

Jeff Smith, Head of Music, Radio 2 and 6 Music, says: “Radio 2’s specialist music output is hugely popular, providing individual shows dedicated to blues, soul, dance, folk, jazz, big band, swing, country music and show tunes. I’m delighted that we can now add rock to this list.”

On Friday 17 May (9.30am-12pm) Ken Bruce will broadcast live from Tel Aviv, Israel, as acts from 42 different countries prepare to take part in the 64th Eurovision Song Contest. Ken will speak to Michael Rice – the UK’s entry to this year’s competition with his song Bigger Than Us and, alongside broadcaster, journalist and self-confessed Eurovision fan Paddy O’Connell, will discuss some of the songs that are tipped to score big points in the final.

On Saturday 18 May from 8pm, Ken will once again bring listeners every country’s live performance from the Eurovision Final as he broadcasts from Expo, Tel Aviv. Paddy will join Ken to share the latest news from backstage and his predictions for the big winners of the night.

Graham will host his Saturday show live in Tel Aviv on 18 May (10am-1pm) with UK entrant Michael Rice. Plus, he’ll chat to his guests back in London, and there’ll be Grill Graham with Maria McErlane

Graham says: “I can’t wait to return once again to the pop extravaganza that is Eurovision. I’ll be broadcasting my show live from Tel Aviv, bringing all the gossip, glitz and glamour from the Song Contest to the listeners back home. As it’s my tenth year at Eurovision, I’ll be taking a trip down memory lane to reminisce about all the fantastic hits and spectacular misses from the last decade.”

Ken says: “It warms the cockles of my heart to return to the shoebox that is my commentary spot at Eurovision. I’m looking forward to getting together once again with my fellow presenters from across the continent and of course watching the spectacular live performances.”

And on Friday 14 June, the six winners of BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words will be announced at the live final at Windsor Castle, where their stories will be read out on-air. There will be three winners announced – Bronze, Silver and Gold – in two different age categories (5-9 and 10-13 years). The Gold winners will receive Virgin Radio’s Chris Evans’ height in books and will be invited to visit a CBBC production, and each of their schools will be sent 500 books for their library. The Silver winners receive HRH The Duchess of Cornwall’s height in books, and the Bronze winners receive their own height in books.

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  1. Mike Rose says

    Wow, an hour of rock! Is that the best they can do?

    1. Adrian says

      Yeah,I thought the same -it sounded like they were extending the show.Hours of rubbish on the channel-yet less than an hour of rock,country etc etc but goodness knows how many hours of soul,disco and chart music!.If as the spokesman says the specialist output on Radio 2 is so popular then why has it been cut back so much!.Walker’s show should be 3-6 on Saturday in my opinion -we used to have marvellous shows on Radio 1,then 2 on Saturday afternoons for lovers of album music etc.

  2. jamie wright says

    we need the rock show to be two hours a week.

  3. neal says

    Like Adrian remember the days of the Saturday/Stereo Sequence on Radio 1 with Johnnie Walker and Roger Scott. Think Richard Skinner did it for a while too. Those days are long gone and sorry to say never coming back. The BBC has forgotten it was put there to be different but between the current crop in charge who may as well go and work for the commercial networks bearing in mind how much they want the BBC to sound like them and good old Ofcom who not content with allowing Global and Bauer to rule the universe also want the BBC to sound exactly the bloody same as them too!

  4. Kenny Philips says

    So what’s happening to Jools Holland who shared this slot with JW? It shows that Radio 2 are making it up as they the go along. When the current schedule was announced he was to present in this Saturday slot after JW’s 3 months. Not now. My guess is he’ll move to Sunday 9pm – will fit into Sundays well, probably better than Saturday.

    1. Kenny Philips says

      Just read on BBC statement that he’s moving into the Moira Stuart slot Sunday 11pm alternating with Don Black. Makes sense. Pity not reported here.

  5. delakota555 says

    I can’t wait…I shall sit down and listen with a whole box of Ferrero Rocher and say Radio 2, you are really spoiling us!😆

    Actually, I won’t as I stopped listening to R2 years ago. I think JW is a really talented DJ who I loved listening to on R1 Rock Show and R2 Drivetime. After the constant bad decisions in regards hirings and firings, I just lost interest and looked elsewhere for my radio…

  6. delakota555 says

    Is this moderated?

    1. UK Reporter says

      It is when you include a URL 😉

  7. Barbara says

    I thought Radio 2 were trying to alienate anyone over about 15 years of age? That’s what it sounded like after the announcement by Jeff Smith earlier. It’s mostly auto-tuned electronic trash, a clone of the radio 1 playlist. Apart from the odd programme they have lost me. Radio Paradise, Virgin Anthems, Scala, UDJ anywhere playing grown up music made by real musicians. Shame on you, BBC!

  8. Pat says

    I hour is hardly a rock fest.On top of that we get a series on house music-just I want from Radio 2-not!,Michael Bolton and a Bowie themed Friday Night Is Music Night (you can see where that show is going!) and all that tosh about Eurovision which no doubt costs the BBC a fortune both in terms of sending the presenters and funding it.I feel sorry for all the Radio 2 listeners that feel disenfranchised by the ridiculous aiming at a younger audience.I appreciate times have to change but what has happened is just too much too soon!.

  9. Mike says

    And Eurovision just grinds on and on … the format is so tired, the music is rubbish and the BBC coverage the same every year.

  10. Ron Dobbyn says

    On line ,If you want Oldies, try 6iX in Perth Australia, if you want country try WSM Nashville, if it’s classical KBYU in Salt Lake City, and for an unusual musical experience try LM radio in Maputo Mozambique. Also Check out all the BBC Local radio Schedule,s they all have great individual shows, including a great gardening show on Radio Kent with great advice. Granny,s not forgiven K-EARTH, and Classic KMPS in America for blocking their signal in the UK.

  11. Terry says

    The three new presenters Sahara Cox.Zoie Ball.Joe Wiley all together do not come near as good as Simon Mayo was

    BBC you have got it so so WRONG

    1. Joe Smith says

      Sahara, Zoie and Joe?

      Is that Chelsea’s new midfield?

  12. Len Groat says

    Surely it’s an indictment of how ‘jack of all trades’ the Radio 2 music policy is when Jeff Smith ( Head of Music) writes that Radio 2’s specialist music output already has, “blues, soul, dance, folk, jazz, big band, swing, country music and show tunes” and he adds “we can now add rock to this list”!

    All served up in “easy to miss” one hour LUMPS….. BORING ….. and a huge waste of the (legally enforced) licence fee…..

    And Barbara’s succinct comment above on the daytime playlist hits the spot…

    “it’s mostly auto-tuned electronic trash, a clone of the radio 1 playlist”

    AGREED !

    1. Joe Smith says

      Jeff Smith appears to be one of those people who believes something is true simply because he says it.

      BBC’s answer to Donald Trump and we all know how respected he is don’t we?

  13. Jamie says

    Ridiculous. Last time I checked the best selling albums of all time were mostly rock, not pop-soul-dance pap, so why 4 nights a week of soul and 1 hour of rock!! Nothing against Trevor Nelson (quite like him) but seems to be ridiculously skewered.

  14. Laser558 says

    Radio 2 and the BBC are so out of touch with this station which has lost its way. Two possibly three decent presenters left namely Ken Bruce, Tony Blackburn and Paul Gambucini and as an outsider a good light entertainer, Rylan Clark Neal. Tom Edwards sounded so good this week on the SW prog and could offer so much to a station that is going down hill fast. Quality presenters are needed with less chat and a simple format of music time checks and info re records played is all that is needed. Those who need an entourage around them to present a programme are not fit for the job. None of those who think they are good could have survived on a ship and developed a listerner relationship. They have not learned the craft of a radio friend and few will ever reach the quality or heights of the radio great presenters such as Terry Wogan, Kenny Everett, Nicky Horne, Richard Allison and those that care about the listener.

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