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The Radio 4 schedule changes on Monday 7 November

Monday 31 October 2011, 12:30

Paul Murphy Paul Murphy Senior Producer, A&Mi

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Martha Kearney

Martha Kearney, presenter of The World at One

Next Monday 7 November the much talked about schedule changes take place.

The big change is that The World at One will have an extra 15 minutes. As a result the weekday afternoon schedule has been changed and some programmes have also moved day. For example, The Film Programme is now on Thursday afternoons rather than Friday.

Radio 4's scheduling guru Tony Pilgrim is going to blog at the end of the week about the changes and also answer any of your questions about the new schedule. So do leave you questions at the end of this post.

Gwyn has blogged previously about the changes and in particular her desire to extend the World at One. You can read Gwyn's posts here and here.

In the meantime I've compiled a list of the Monday to Friday afternoons so you can see the programmes that have moved and the changes that have been made.

Monday:

  • 1.00pm World at One
  • 1.45pm 15 minute weekly series (previously 3.45pm)
  • 2.00pm The Archers
  • 2.15pm Afternoon Play
  • 3.00pm Quiz (previously 1.30pm)
  • 3.30pm Food Programme repeat (previously 4pm)
  • 4.00pm Popular arts (previously 11.30am Tuesdays)
  • 4.30pm Beyond Belief/The Infinite Monkey Cage

Tuesday:

  • 11.30am Music documentary (previously 1.30pm)
  • 12.04pm Call You and Yours
  • 1.00pm World at One
  • 1.45pm 15 minute weekly series (previously 3.45pm)
  • 2.00pm The Archers
  • 2.15pm Afternoon Play
  • 3.00pm Making History/Home Planet
  • 3.30pm Off The Page (previously 1.30pm Thursday) or Costing the Earth (previously 9pm Wednesday)

Wednesday:

  • 1.00pm World at One
  • 1.45pm 15 minute weekly series (previously 3.45pm)
  • 2.00pm The Archers
  • 2.15pm Afternoon Play
  • 3.00pm Money Box Live
  • 3.30pm Science/Health repeat (previously 4.30pm)
  • 4.00pm Thinking Allowed
  • 4.30pm Media Show (previously 1.30pm)

Thursday:

  • 1.00pm World at One
  • 1.45pm 15 minute weekly series (previously 3.45pm)
  • 2.00pm The Archers
  • 2.15pm Afternoon Play
  • 3.00pm Open Country/Ramblings
  • 3.30pm Book club/Open book (previously 4.00pm)
  • 4.00pm The Film Programme (previously 4.30pm Friday)
  • 4.30pm Material World (previously 4.30pm)

Friday:

  • 1.00pm World at One
  • 1.45pm 15 minute weekly series (previously 3.45pm)
  • 2.00pm The Archers
  • 2.15pm Afternoon Play
  • 3.00pm Gardeners' Question Time
  • 3.45pm Short story (the other short story slot is now Sunday at 7.45pm)
  • 4.00pm Last Word
  • 4.30pm Feedback/More or Less (previously 1.30pm)

Other things to note: The Monday afternoon repeat of Archive on 4 has been dropped.

Paul Murphy is the editor of the Radio 4 blog

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Comments

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    Comment number 41.

    Strange this change, I remember when WATO was reduced back in '98 to half an hour and was quite put out, less depth and analysis but in the end as so many others have noted the programs between 1.30 and 2.00pm are some of the best on R4, Feedback is a particular favourite but Sunday night at 8pm and no "listen again" means that I will miss this bell weather of how the BBC is doing.

    I seem to remember it was condemned to some odd time before so I suppose all I have to do is wait until this fad passes,only trouble is I might not live long enough to see this one pass.

    The world has changed since '98, we have News24 for those of us who must have up to the minute news, or as I see it the endless repetition of broadly the same bit of news every 15 minutes interspersed with ever more hyperbolic speculation on the smallest scrap of information. Despite the ever increasing amount of news, there is still no in depth analysis, for that you have to rely on From Our own Correspondent, Crossing Continents or dare I say it a daily newspaper, etc etc. So do we need an extended WATO any more? No probably not, times have changed and yet more interviews with politicians who are only ever going to answer the questions that they want to answer in favour of the other more interesting, informative and entertaining programs we are about to lose from this very convenient time is a very bad move

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    Comment number 42.

    I frequently lose the will to live between 2.15 and 5.00pm, it really is the most awful, tedious part of the R4 day. Fabulous news that World at One is being extended - why can't it go to 2.00 pm? All ghastly drama/quiz progs affected can be downloaded as podcasts can't they? Surely all is available on BBC iplayer anyway.

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    Comment number 43.

    The online schedule for Thursday (and my Radio Times) has the Film Programme at 4.00 and Material World at 4.30, which contradicts the schedule on this page.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 44.

    I can't understand why you didn't just move The Archers back to 1.45pm (I'm sure it used to be there!). And sorry to see a reduction in short stories - they'll be much missed.

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    Comment number 45.

    Perhaps my memory is playing tricks, but wasn't there an almighty rumpus some years ago when WatO was shortened from 40 minutes to 30 and the Archers moved from 1:40 to 2pm? Has BBC management at last realised that its rationale twelve years ago was weak and the changes were unnecessary? Or is it that they just want to shake us old duffers out of our complacency? "Let's rattle their cage and watch them get annoyed"

  • rate this
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    Comment number 46.

    My wife and I are very upset that the regular quiz spot of 1-30 on Mondays has been changed to what another blogger has correctly described as the graveyard slot of 3-00. We regularly listen to the quiz over our lunch, but will not in future be able to do so. Shame on you!

    Ronald Goldberg.

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    Comment number 47.

    #43 Max, Thanks for that. Correcting it now, Paul

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    Comment number 48.

    There's a continuing lack of clarity about the number of new short stories in the revised schedule. In his post on "Rescheduling Radio 4" (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radio4/ ), Head of Planning Tony Pilgrim writes:

    "Our decision, reluctantly, was ... to drop one short story per week from the Radio 4 schedule, and to displace one per week to Sunday at 7.45 pm."

    I think what this means is: "We decided to drop one (weekday) short story altogether, and move another (weekday) short story to Sunday evenings."

    But:

    (a) I'm pretty certain there was already a short story (repeat) slot on Sunday evenings.

    (b) It looks as though that Sunday slot may well continue to be for repeats only, if they mean to carry on the way they're starting in the first week of the new schedule. (See my previous post above, No 29.)

    If so, what he should really be saying is: "We decided to drop two of the three weekday short story originations altogether. Sundays stay the same."

    For the benefit of listeners, would Tony Pilgrim - or, even better, Gwyneth Williams - like to clarify the state of play? Unless, of course, the cloud of confusion helps to conceal the brutal reality of these cuts.

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    Comment number 49.

    I agree withh all the comments about yet more news, views and comment. We really don't need another 15 minutes in the middle of the day if it means diluting the diversity of the R4 offering. I love BBC radio, but I think it's taking me for granted a bit at the moment...

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    Comment number 50.

    I am very disappointed at the changes. I have enjoyed all the programmes previously scheduled at 1.30, and I really dont need more news. The 1.30 programmes have now been put at times in the day when I am usually busy. This is the first time I have written in to my favourite station, which I have listened to for most of my adult life. It makes me feel sad. I expect to change to Radio 3, where there are usually good programmes I have regretted missing.

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    Comment number 51.

    There goes lunchtime.

    A half hour of Martha Kearney bleating on about the same old nonsense that every other news programme had already done to death has been balanced by programmes that have been both informative and entertaining before turning the radio off when the Archers theme tune fires up. It won't be worth turning the radio on now. Oh, well, there is always RadioLab

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    Comment number 52.

    Pleasant though it might be to be in a position to listen to the radio every afternoon, I only get the chance to do so after having escaped from the saltmine on a Friday and joined the long wearying commute home via the sclerotic motorway network of the Midlands. Maintaining the will to live during this weekly purgatory is only possible because of the existence of Radio Four and the soothing rhythm of Afternoon Play, Gardeners' Question Time, Last Word et al. Shame about losing The Film Programme, but we like More or Less and Feedback as well - though Roger Bolton shouldn't really try jokes, we feel - so the world will not shift too far on its axis. And somebody complained earlier about too many news bulletins: get away with you! It's a couple of minutes every hour updating those of us who take an interest in what's happening in the world. If too much actualite offends, hie thee to R4 Extra, where as often as not it's still the 1950s.

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    Comment number 53.

    HURRAY! I am looking forward to the extended programme. Can't wait.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 54.

    I am disappointed about the increased news coverage - there's too much already, and I wonder if the Sunday evening programmes of Analysis and the Week in Westminster might be changed to more something a little more creative.......

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    Comment number 55.

    Even more news on R4! No! No! No! There are a multitude of news' broadcasts to choose from 24/7 but only one R4. If the R4 Controller asked R4 listeners their primary reason for tuning into the station, I'm positive (especially given the comments in this blog) the vast majority of responses would not be: 'because of the news'. Why doesn't the R4 Controller simply rebrand R4 as R24 News and be done with it. No more scheduling issues then!

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    Comment number 56.

    I like the sound of a meteor falling on Ambridge. Or maybe something like Midwich Cuckoos? Or zombies..! Yes, all three.

    I'd also like to hear the sound of an axe on all the religious stuff.
    Especially Thought for the Day. Or change its name to Sermon of the Day.

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    Comment number 57.

    If the BBC must make cuts, cut these people who have absolutely nothing useful to do and who must justify their existance by coming up with ridiculous schedules that nobody wants. I am interested in current affairs, but in the context that I'm interested also in most programmes on R4 and R3. Already on R4 we have 3 hrs of Today, 1 hr of PM, half an hour of news at 6pm, 3/4hr of current affairs at 10pm and half an hr of news at midnight. Who on earth wants more? There is absolutely no need for this extra 15 min at 1.30. The 1/4 hr slot left is a mess and the necessary rejigging of the rest of the day's schedule is a mess too.The The excellent programmes that filled the 1.30 to 2.00pm slot are now at a time that interrupts ones afternoon.

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    Comment number 58.

    I was sorry when the World at One was reduced to just half an hour, as it was always one of the best news programmes of the day uncluttered by too many set piece interviews or jokie fillers .

    But please, please can we get rid of these endless hourly bulletins that say exactly the same thing over and over and over again!! Fine on commercial pop channels where people only listen with half an ear, but just not suited to R4 listening.

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    Comment number 59.

    Contrary to the view held by the writer of an earlier post, I find radio a superb medium for nature programmes. It is similar to the experience of listening to a play; in the hands of an expert broadcaster the sound picture created is better than any tv spectacular.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 60.

    It is the systemic arrogance of those responsible for changes such as these which concerns me. Another example is the removal of radio programmes including Radio 4 from Digital Freeview in the evenings and weekends in favour of ALBA which is of no interest to people in my area of northern Scotland or anywhere near me. Until there is a change in this approach I fear for a medium which I cherish.
    One last point - am I alone in finding irritating the continual trailers resulting for example in the reduction in time for weather forecasts? Let us hope this additional 15 minutes on WatO is not partially used to further this or as is becoming more prevalent to give air time to advertising.

 

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