Full Radio 5 live archive made available

Nicky Campbell and Bradley Cooper The archive also holds showbiz interviews including Nicky Campbell chatting to Oscar-nominated actor Bradley Cooper

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For the first time, BBC staff can now search the Radio 5 live archive on their desktop, ahead of its 20th birthday later this month.

Files include coverage of stories such as the death of Princess Diana, the Iraq War and London 2012. They also contain contemporaneous reaction from members of public contributing to phone-ins.

Carl Davies, archive innovation executive, said the collection was "a hugely valuable resource for programme-makers and researchers".

"This archive provides a historical perspective of the UK and world affairs because of its focus on the news of the day."

Search function

The availability of the archive follows a collaboration between the Salford-based station and BBC Archives colleagues at the MediaCityUK offices and the Archive Centre in west London.

Consequently, Radio 5 live is now the only BBC network station to have a digitised broadcast archive that reaches back to its first transmission, on 28 March 1994.

Peter Allen interviewing London 2012 visitors at the Olympic Park Peter Allen, who has been at 5 live since its launch, interviews Olympic fans in 2012

Since its inception, the news and sport station has been recorded on a myriad of formats, including on 8,000 VHS tapes and 4,000 CDs.

Radio 5 live stopped recording its full output after 2007, when AutoRot started archiving content, alongside BBC Redux and, from 2008, the BBC's Radio Digital Archive.

As some VHS or CDs have either been borrowed or gone missing, the archive is not 100% complete. But BBC Archives aim to fill in the few gaps with alternate recordings where possible.

The department is also looking to make it easier for staff to locate specific clips by improving the search function in the future.

  • The archive is only available to internal BBC users. Staff should email here to find out more about the station's server or Radio Digital Archive, and mark the subject "5 live"

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