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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

Tagged with:

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

Tagged with:

Comments

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 61.

    Hello langhamstreet

    Tony Pilgrim, Radio 4's head of scheduling, has sent over a clarification in response to your comments regarding short stories (#29, #48 on The Radio 4 schedule changes on Monday 7 November and on Nick Sutton's World at One post, #1).
    From Tony:

    "We will definitely have two short stories per week as an average across the financial year from next financial year, beginning April 2012. We are sticking to our commitment for the remainder of this financial year to end March, which is for a higher number than this, it just happens that the way the scheduling has worked out we have repeats for a couple of weeks on the next two Sundays at 1945."

    Many thanks,
    Paul

  • rate this
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    Comment number 62.

    FAO Tony Pilgrim:

    Thanks for your response (No 61, above).

    I think that's a little clearer, but even if there are "two [new?] short stories per week as an average" from April 2012, and "a higher number than this" from now till the end of March, these fluctuating figures suggest a rather random and erratic scheduling of stories.

    Even if this isn't the case, the net effect of the reduction in output is that story readings stop being a serious presence on the network, as they were when they ran through the weekday schedule like the proverbial letters through a stick of rock.

    In the revamped schedule, short stories seem likely become not much more than occasional fillers that nobody remembers to listen to; or every now and then they'll become over-hyped "special events" - Johnny Depp reads a specially-commissioned new story by Quentin Tarantino! Recorded in his hotel room at the Dorchester while in London to promote his latest 'Pirates' movie!

    Total rubbish, of course, but what fantastic publicity for the network...

    It's a far cry from just two years ago, when - let's not forget - there was a new short story every weekday, at a regular time, and Radio 4 was still a serious patron of writers and actors and creativity.

    And just to compound the irony, I see R4 has also just announced that "the art of sound, storytelling and listening" are to be "celebrated" on the network next March in some new programmes with the ubiquitous Melvyn Barg (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/ariel/15540549 ).

    So that's the message: we "celebrate" storytelling, but we don't actually do it any more.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 63.

    ...Or at least, we don't do it very much any more.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 64.

    I listen to Radio 4 for variety. However, with Today on my way to work, and PM on the way home, the addition of yet more current affairs during my precious lunch break in not what I would have wished for.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 65.

    Having just listened to the first 45 minute news, all the worst fears of the commenters before me were realised. It was mostly politicians pontificating on what will happen in the future. Please note: NOBODY knows how long the recession will last, so stop asking them.

    Oh ... and the arts were represented by a (mercifully short) chunk of Radio 1 type noise.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 66.

    This has been said above, but it would have caused less disruption to cut down the whingers' programme 'You and Yours', particularly its tedious phone-ins, and put the entertaining and informative programmes from the 1.30 slot on at 12.30, returning to the pattern of some years ago.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 67.

    I have just listened to the extended WatO - apologies to the other claimants to these letters! - and what did we get in the last 15 minutes but an advertisement for Microsoft and another for some pop group who claimed the right to "WatO" not to mention plugs. I rest my case!!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 68.

    Congratulations on what is a thankless task as evidenced by all of this feedback. As a self confessed Radio 4 addict of over 30 years standing I understand what a difficult job this is and I don't envy you.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 69.

    You are not alone, OrkneyM (No. 60) in finding irritating the continual trailers resulting for example in the reduction in time for weather forecasts. Particularly bad is the Today weather forecast at 7.59(!) when we get a gabbled 30 seconds forecast followed by a leisurely 30 seconds of trailer before the pips at 8,00. The forecasters do their best but the Today presenters should stop hogging the airwaves and give more time for the most relevant weather forecast of the day.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 70.

    OH GREAT – MORE NEWS ...why? Because it’s cheap presumably.

    I now won’t hear a number of my favourite programmes.
    Thanks Radio 4.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 71.

    BIG MISTAKE extending the World at One - in what is for many a busy lunchhour a tight, concise 30 minute bulletin, often followed by a lighter half hour show was the ideal mix. If it ain't broke.....

    It may have looked good on paper - but I feel sure you will lose the working audience at that time.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 72.

    I feel the World at One as a 30 minute programme was well focused on the news and particularly convenient if you did not have much time at lunchtime to catch the news from a quality news programme. On many occasions I enjoyed the range of interesting half hour programmes that followed in the 30 minute World at One up to 1400hrs, not least the Media Show and Round Britain Quiz. I feel the 45 minute World at One slot was not necessary and now some of the new content seems to have lost the pithy and informative news focused strengths of a half hour programmes. I shall miss the programmes that would have followed a 30 minute World at One and don't find the assortment of their rearranged times at all convenient. I hope the BBC will do some independent research to check listeners' views on these changes as I cannot believe they will be welcomed by many lunchtime Radio 4 listeners.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 73.

    I am extremely unhappy about these recent changes to BBC Radio 4 schedules. Although I am of "mature" years and long-since retired, I do have a life outside listening to radio. Consequently, I do much of my listening during mealtimes and I am sure I am not alone in thoroughly enjoying the marvellous variety of programmes you used to broadcast betwen 1.30 and 2.00 pm. Alas however, no more and I am afraid I'm off to Radio 3, RTE Lyric FM or Classic FM with my lunch.
    Finally, having wrecked my lunchtime listening, please do not now turn your attention to wrecking the 6.30 pm slot.
    John Shearer

  • rate this
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    Comment number 74.

    I am self employed and listen to R4 all day and have done since graduating in 1995. I can't understand why there has to be so much news coverage, we have BBC News 24 and R5 live. Most of the contents of the news is already puffed up with speculation instead of real news and trivial nonsense such as Kittygate or whatever you called it. The news on R4 is often the most low brow part of the line up, narrowly beaten by You and Yours - why couldn't that have been cut instead of all the good stuff? I admit Eddie Mair is entertaining but he could be used on a proper program instead of a prequel to the news, which is then repeated without the jokes at six o'clock.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 75.

    NEWS NEWS AND MORE BLOODY NEWS. I realise Radio 4 is now trying to sound more like the poverty-stricken American PBS, but these changes are terrible and need to be rethought. What's left of the BBC World Service was reduced to a rolling diet of news and current affairs some time ago. Radio 5 covers news continuously for much of the tday - even Radio 3 is now littered with bulletins in the mornings. On Radio 4, we get news of one type in You and Yours, now immediately followed by 45mins of the World at One. The scheduling of (supposedly) drama in the form of the Archers, immediately followed by the Afternoon Play is (and has been for years) equally stupid. Clearly those responsible don't actually LISTEN to the radio as it is broadcast.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 76.

    I'd just loke to add my voice to the many others who are unhappy with the lunchtime schedule change. Why the need to pad out WOrld at One and deprive us of the excellent programmes which filled the 1.30 to 2.00 slot is beyond me. We're only four days in, I'm brain dead and switching to Classic FM over lunch, only retuning at 2.00 for "The Archers".

  • rate this
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    Comment number 77.

    I'm not really fussed either way about WatO being extended. I am sad about the loss of the 1.30 slot, as there were some interesting things on then. But the move that's most frustrating to me is shifting the Film Programme.

    Mon-Thurs I finish work at 5pm and listen to PM on the way home. On a Friday, we finish at 4.30, so I can listen to the fantastic Film Programme on the way home and hopefully get some pointers on what to see at the flicks over the weekend. There's next to no chance I'm likely to hear it at 4pm on a Thursday.

    Yes, I can listen again. I have the RSS feed on my blog page, so I know when there's a new programme to listen to. But that sort of defeats the object of listening on the way home at the end of a long week.

    But I can't complain. I got so sick of the lack of content on television that I no longer have a TV licence, so I'm not paying for any of this.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 78.

    Thanks for the Radio 4 article on Windows 7 infection. I had no sooner switched off after the programme than I received the same telephone call word for word. I put down the 'phone after a brief chat.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 79.

    I detect another excuse for cost cutting! It is the use of an Omnibus programme - this time replacing I assume permanently the Friday Play at 21.00. Is there no end to it all?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 80.

    Just listened to "Laurels and Donkeys" - superb and very moving - When you get it right Radio 4 you really get it right - many thanks. Shame I've got to wait till 4.30 for "Feedback"

 

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