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  1. In the Dark at the Radio Festival

    Monday 20 October 2014, 15:17

    Helen Boaden Helen Boaden Director, BBC Radio

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    Earlier this week at the Radio Festival in Salford, I led the inaugural session of “In the Dark at the Radio Festival” – a personal take on some the deep pleasures to be experienced in radio as I see them. I wanted to use this post to share the selection of clips I presented during the session.

    It's not a definitive take. I have stuck to BBC excerpts though I love and admire a lot of other radio especially This American Life and Radio Lab from the States. And I have a bias to speech radio as you would expect from a former Controller of Radio 4.

    Before the session at the Radio Festival started we played out a track from Laura Mvula, simply because my earliest memories are of radio and music: dancing round the kitchen with my mum to the hits of My Fair Lady which she told me was on something called the Light Programme...

    For those under forty, there used to be two BBC radio stations: the Light Programme and the Home Service which, in a brilliant strategic move in the Seventies, the BBC changed into Radios 1, 2, 3 and 4. 

    My Fair Lady gave way to a later love of Motown, soul and funk (and not a little Joni Mitchell...) which Tony Blackburn has a lot to answer for.

    But...

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  2. Supporting children in need

    Monday 20 October 2014, 07:46

    Danny Cohen Danny Cohen

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    In North London, there is a small school that takes children with broken hearts and troubled minds and works to put them back together.

    The kinds of children who arrive there have been the victims of physical or psychological abuse, have perhaps lost a loved one or suffer from acute mental health problems that they can no longer cope with.

    I have visited this school to offer support a number of times. Each time I feel inspired and humbled. And also heartbroken. The pain of these children is often quiet but it hangs in the air with inescapable force.

    Inspiration and humility comes from the extraordinary dedication of the teachers and support staff who work with the children to heal and teach them. Their kindness, patience and love seems to know no bounds. They are the kinds of people without which Britain would be a harsher, more brutal place.

    With their help, many of these brave children begin to recover. They develop more confidence, they learn to cope better with the trauma in their lives, they take lessons and gain qualifications.

    This school also benefits from a grant from Children in Need. Money for the kind of care and education the children need is extremely tight and the charity...

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  3. In conversation with Ralph Rivera and Danny Cohen

    Monday 20 October 2014, 06:51

    Jon Jacob Jon Jacob Editor, About the BBC Blog

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    Doctor and the Dalek poster Doctor and the Dalek online coding game goes live later this week on the CBBC website

    Ahead of The Doctor and The Dalek game going live later this week, Future Media Director, Ralph Rivera and Director of TV, Danny Cohen shared their thoughts on how the BBC is inspiring a new generation to get creative with coding and digital technology in its new initiative Make it Digital.

    The interview that follows was conducted on Tuesday 14 October 2014.

    Q: Tell us about the Doctor Who game The Doctor and The Dalek

    Ralph: There are a number of things which are important about this exciting new game. For me the first thing is how we’re using a great brand like Doctor Who to help engage audiences into coding and computational thinking and digital creativity: the ‘doing’ of coding is really important – actually getting people to get a taste of it. Additionally, the key characters in Doctor Who are about technology - there’s science and technology woven into the very fabric of Doctor Who. Using that to showcase coding and the use of technology in a game, I think, is phenomenal.

    Q: Is this about making coding more interesting?

    Danny: I don’t think it’s about making it more interesting...

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  4. What’s on BBC Red Button, 18–24 October

    Friday 17 October 2014, 14:48

    Marc Jones Marc Jones Media Scheduler, Red Button

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    We’re rocking all over the world this week as Radio 2 celebrates 50 years of Status Quo. Radio 1 announce their Teen Awards and Sara Cox brings us a special edition of Sounds of the 80s with Spandau Ballet.

    status-quo_dave-coulson.jpg Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt of Status Quo. Credit Dave Coulson  

    Radio 2 in Concert - Status Quo

    Get your double denim out of the wardrobe as Status Quo mark their 50th anniversary with a special concert for Radio 2.

    Wed 22 Oct, 7.55pm-6am
    Thu 23 Oct, 6am-2pm, 3.30pm-6am
    Fri 24 Oct, 6am-7pm, 10pm-6am

    Radio 1 Teen Awards

    BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards returns this October to honour the...

    Read more about What’s on BBC Red Button, 18–24 October

  5. Future of News

    Friday 17 October 2014, 12:27

    James Harding James Harding Director of News and Current Affairs

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    The BBC’s Future of News project is intended to make sure that we look beyond our daily output to keep abreast of innovation and new ideas in the news business; it’s intended to help us articulate for ourselves a sense of where we’re going in what is obviously a very fast-moving world for news; and it’s intended to provide a menu of ideas for the BBC when we come to make the case for the renewal of the Royal Charter.

    We are setting out to ask what audiences will want of the news in 2017, 2022 and 2027. We are looking at the future of news through three interwoven strands: technology, stories...

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  6. Teenagers who change the world

    Thursday 16 October 2014, 18:20

    Ben Cooper Ben Cooper Controller

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    There are two clichés of teenagers in mainstream media – that of monosyllabic grunting threatening trouble makers, or the front page photo of two long haired blond girls hugging as they celebrate their exam results.

    Sure they exist, but Radio 1 wants to shout proudly about all of the young people living in our society and the fantastically diverse lives being experienced in the UK today. We not only reflect and celebrate youth culture through its music, but also through the stories that we tell in between the records. This Tuesday we tell the stories of ‘10 Teens Who Changed the World’...

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  7. BBC announce huge commitment to natural history on TV and online

    Thursday 16 October 2014, 16:02

    Jen Macro Jen Macro Digital Content Producer, About the BBC

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    “Natural History is in the BBC’s DNA” says BBC Director-General Tony Hall as he welcomes an audience of wildlife enthusiasts to the Radio Theatre in New Broadcasting House today to announce the launch of the UK edition of BBC Earth. The website will provide a digital home for all things BBC Nature, including social media, hosting pictures from the public and a new interactive feature ‘Your Life on Earth’.

    In order to see this content you need to have both Javascript enabled and Flash Installed. Visit BBC Webwise for full instructions. If you're reading via RSS, you'll need to visit the blog to access this content

    The new home of natural history on BBC Online.

    The website launch coincided with the premiere screening of episode one of the new series from the Natural History Unit, Life...

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  8. Mr Blue Sky thinking: How Radio 2 persuaded Jeff Lynne's ELO to play Hyde Park

    Thursday 16 October 2014, 13:47

    Jeff Smith Jeff Smith Head of Music, Radio 2

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    Jeff Lynne's ELO at Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park 2014

    Ahead of tomorrow's broadcast on BBC Four of 'Jeff Lynne's ELO at Hyde Park', Head of Music Radio 2 and 6 Music, Jeff Smith tells the story of how Radio 2 managed to convince Lynne to play their annual event.

    “It’s good to remember that this is a dream job, whether you’re performing or working in broadcasting or the biz, so dream.”

    Those were the words of Iggy Pop as he delivered this year’s BBC 6 Music John Peel lecture from the Radio Festival in Salford.

    My dream as a kid was to work in music and radio. And the music that provided much of my early inspiration was that of Jeff...

    Read more about Mr Blue Sky thinking: How Radio 2 persuaded Jeff Lynne's ELO to play Hyde Park

  9. Genome – Radio Times archive now live

    Wednesday 15 October 2014, 22:58

     BBC Archive Development BBC Archive Development

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    The first edition of the Radio Times The first edition of the Radio Times

    Genome – the BBC project to digitise the Radio Times magazines between 1923 and 2009 is now live.  On the site you can find BBC broadcast information – ‘listings’ - extracted from those editions. You can also search individual programme titles, contributors and synopsis information.

    Our aim on this project is to curate a comprehensive history of every radio and TV programme ever broadcast by the corporation, and make that available to the public. Our first step has been this digitisation of the BBC radio and TV programme schedules from the...

    Read more about Genome – Radio Times archive now live

  10. David Attenborough on Life Story and the Licence Fee

    Wednesday 15 October 2014, 14:35

    Hannah Khalil Hannah Khalil Digital Content Producer, About The BBC Blog

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    At a preview screening in Bristol yesterday (Tuesday 14 October) for the forthcoming BBC One series Life Story narrated by David Attenborough, the veteran broadcaster participated in a discussion. The Radio Times highlighted his comments in David Attenborough: Cutting the licence fee would "weaken" the BBC:

    “The series, which is narrated by Attenborough and airs next week on BBC1, took four years and many millions of pounds to make. But he told the audience in Bristol that any changes to the licence fee would jeopardise comparable series being made in the future. Indeed, he suggested, this might...

    Read more about David Attenborough on Life Story and the Licence Fee

About this Blog

This blog explains what the BBC does and how it works. We link to some other blogs and online spaces inside and outside the corporation. The blog is edited by Jon Jacob.

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Doctor Who's new web game aims to teach children programming skills (Guardian)
"Latest attempt to make coding fun for kids involves rescuing a Dalek and exploring the unscreened world of Sontar"

BBC boss Danny Cohen hits back at Children in Need 'hidden millions' claims: 'Vulnerable children could suffer' (Mirror)

Strictly Come Dancing triumphs over The X Factor again in ratings battle (Independent) 

The Vamps win big at Radio 1 Teen Awards (MTV)

BBC adds chat app to Ebola effort (Ariel)
"World Service has turned to instant messenger to get the latest word on Ebola out to audiences in West Africa."

Broadcasters Reveal Leaders' Debate Plan (KL.FM)
"Sky News, the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have announced joint plans for a series of party leader debates across TV and the internet in the run-up to the 2015 General Election."

BBC3 orders six docs from new directors for Fresh strand (Televisual)
"BBC3 has commissioned six new one-off documentaries for its Fresh strand – the channel’s scheme for new directors looking for a break into prime-time film-making."

Brainy BAMEs upskill (Ariel)

Pharrell, One Direction, Sam Smith And Pretty Much Everyone You’ve Ever Heard Of Beautifully Cover "God Only Knows" (Buzzfeed)
"Don’t blink, you might miss Elton John covered in butterflies or Lorde wearing angel wings"

Alan Sugar's not looking for 'donkeys' (Ariel)

BBC iPlayer catch-up window extended to 30 days

Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace is first celebrity to leave the show (Radio Times)
"The MasterChef presenter fails to cook up enough votes to ensure his survival as Mrs Browns Boys star Jennifer Gibney beats him in the dance-off"

Martin Freeman to Star in BBC Drama About Trial of Adolf Eichmann (Hollywood Reporter)

BBC's casting coup: Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen unite (Telegraph)

BBC launches Young Dancer 2015 competition (Digital Spy)
"the BBC is working with top names in dance to develop a programme that will not only find the young dance performers of the future, but give them a real break at the very start of their professional careers"

Conway to head up BBC Studios and Post Production (Televisual)
"I’m looking forward to working with the BBC S&PP team to further stabilise the business after several years of exceptional transformation and change"

First Look At Benedict Cumberbatch As Richard III In The Hollow Crown (Empire)

Sheila Tracy, the first woman to read the news on Radio 4, dies (Telegraph)

Sheila Tracy, the first woman to read the news on Radio 4, dies (Telegraph)

Radio 2 Live In Hyde Park attracted record 1.19m Red Button viewers (Musicweek)
"These numbers bear testimony to us having secured this broad and distinctive line-up of artists who are bang on target for our audience on air, online and on TV"

End of an era: BBC letters taken down from Television Centre in Shepherd's Bush after 54 years (Evening Standard)

Eniola Aluko makes history as first female Match of the Day pundit (Guardian)

Artists Make Works Using BBC Archive (Artnet News)

BBC confirms Sinead Rocks as controller of Learning (Prolific North)

Last updated Monday 20 October 2014

Blogs from across the BBC

Selected by the About the BBC Blog team.

BBC to launch 'The Doctor and the Dalek' game for kids [Doctor Who]
Weather: Redirecting mobile users to responsive [Internet]
Google's 'right to be forgotten' tour comes to London [Academy]
Encouraging your children's language and comprehension skills through shared book reading [CBeebies Grown-ups]
The vegetables of truth [Adam Curtis]


MatOf ThDay At 50: onic theme even has a banjo [TV]