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Radio 4 Extra is almost one week old - and we've all been delighted to read far more publicity for the network than we ever expected. Our notice boards are groaning with press cuttings of previews and reviews from a wide variety of newspapers across the UK. We also made a number of feature pages too - which has all helped to raise awareness of the rebranded network.

On our launch day. Russell Davies took us on fascinating journey through the history of radio panel games. Let's Get Quizzical was very well-received, and those of you who enjoyed it can look forward to the second part of this entertaining series on Saturday.

The Chitty Chitty Bang Bang dramatisation also proved to be popular, and I notice that our next new children's drama commission, Elidor, is one of next week's Radio Choices in the Radio Times. Alan Garner's magical novel and the dark world of Elidor is a definite pick of the week for me...

Old favourites - like Hancock and Garrison Keillor's Radio Show - got favourable mentions in the press too.

So now it's on to our second week of broadcasting, when lovers of radio drama can look forward to My Cousin Rachel (Daphne Du Maurier), Howard's End and Torchwood.

Amongst the 10 hours-plus of comedy per day you can enjoy Ed Reardon's Week, Arthur Smith's Balham Bash, up and coming comedy group The Penny Dreadfuls, Hancock's War - and for fans of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue there's a treat from 1982 - a programme which includes the late and much-missed Willie Rushton in the panel.

Mary Kalemkerian is Head of Programmes at BBC Radio 4 Extra

  • The photograph is from the BBC picture library. The caption reads: "Picture shows (front) Hugh Lloyd, Jack Watling, Tony Hancock. (back) Jose Read, John Le Mesurier, Noel Howlett, Diana King and Charles Lloyd Pack Tony Hanock suffers his indignity of being stuck for rather along time in a lift at the BBC Televsion Centre. Stuck with him are a number of visitors to the Centre and one or two employees including of course, the lift attendant plyed by Hugh Lloyd."
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  • Comment number 97. Posted by Hookedon7

    on 23 Apr 2011 16:31

    Ambridge Extra's sole purpose is to try and attract more listeners from radio 4 over to radio 4 extra. Unfortunately, this programme, along with other puerile rubbish is alienating former radio 7 listeners from the station.

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  • Comment number 96. Posted by Robert

    on 23 Apr 2011 15:11

    I have been an avid listener to Radio 7 for years and have always thought of it as one of the best things that the BBC have done in a long time. The station seemed to have developed an individual style which many of us welcomed as an alternative to the current affairs and chat shows on Radio 4. I loved being able to switch on at any time to know that I would be able to listen to classic or contemporary comedy, excellent crime and drama or sci-fi and fantasy programmes.

    Like others, however, I have now given up listening to most of R4Ex live, particularly for the Comedy Club. I use my radio to select and record the shows that I want to hear and don't bother listening to the irritating continuity from Arthur Smith. Don't get me wrong, I think he is an excellent comedian, but not a chat show host, which seems to be his function on the station now. Come back Alex Riley, we miss you!

    I totally fail to see the point of sticking programmes which are so very Radio 4, like Desert Island Discs and the increasing number of talk shows, into the scheduling of what used to be Radio 7. If we wanted to listen to them, surely we would turn to Radio 4 itself? Would they put repeats of Radio 3's CD Review or Choral Evensong on Radio 2, for example?

    For whatever reason, the BBC seems to have totally shot itself in the foot with this one, by turning a great success story into a some kind of hybrid which seems to be pleasing nobody at the moment. It seems to me that they really have no understanding of their audience and that that doesn’t seem to bother them.

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  • Comment number 95. Posted by psiops

    on 23 Apr 2011 14:18

    Thank you to everyone for taking the time to comment on the blog, Twitter and elsewhere. I'm planning more posts in the near future.
    mary wrote this on the 14th now the 23rd so near future is another bbc way of saying wait and take what we give you , thought that by now we would have had a decent reply but hay ho at least they havent closed this blog yet.

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  • Comment number 94. Posted by washishu

    on 22 Apr 2011 15:45

    Ah, the good old days when BBC7 didn't even bother to give us the time. As soon as it became successful the end was in sight and now that it's been "re-branded", well. . . Does the extra mean extra rubbish? Is it the intention I wonder that every Radio 4 programme should have an "extra"? The World at One—Extra, Thought for the Day—Extra, Any Questions—Extra. And is that inane jingle to be played after EVERY sentence the continuity announcer speaks? Is that the Extra you're so proud of?

    I don't want banal babble between the programmes—just like most other radio channels; I don't want you "chatting" to me like I'm your friend; I'm NOT your friend. I want a professional continuity announcer; that's all.

    I too will still listen—but nothing like as often as I used to. Shame.

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  • Comment number 93. Posted by mljo

    on 22 Apr 2011 15:25

    There is a Facebook page - perhaps the name "Save Radio 7 from Radio 4 Extra" is not appropriate now but you never know - bringing back the spirit (and schedule) of Radio 7 whatever the name would be progress! Here is the link:

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Save-BBC-7-from-RAdio-4-Extra/110275482357938 - Facebook had some influence on the saving of BBC Radio 6 so expressions of support here can't do any harm!

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  • Comment number 92. Posted by Peter Gordon

    on 22 Apr 2011 13:29

    I too am concerned that Radio 4 Extra, will not be living up to its hype, but then it never could. Complaining is pointless and the only response that you will get, is if you offer compliments.

    When 7 began I thought that especially the BBC drama archive would provide a conucopia of brilliant plays going back to when drama was truly escapist unless now, when it is truly PC and worthy, with people in crises [I can get that at home any day of the week!]. When the end of BBC7 was in sight it was clear that as usual, the BBC was going its own sweet way - telling us what it thought we wanted.

    I will continue to listen t 4 Extra, because anything is better than the news!

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  • Comment number 91. Posted by cats22

    on 22 Apr 2011 12:30

    Another disaffected ex-radio 7 listener here. I agree with a lot of what has already been said, too many short slots, no long drama, no real structure to the schedule, repeats of recent radio 4 comedy, bits of Front Row, Inheritance Tracks, Ambridge Extra, people talking about comedy, intrusive presenters - all awful.

    I used to be able to have it on all day (I didn't even mind the repeats) but after three weeks I have found I hardly switch it on at all and when I do, I seem to catch people talking about comedy (in a not-very-interesting way) or ten minute repeats of Front Row interviews.

    The one little crumb of comfort thrown to us loyal listeners is the return of Crime and Thrillers House at some unspecified time.

    I would like to say something positive but I really can't.

    The rights issues are constantly mentioned but if the BBC has been making Saturday plays and Classic Serials at any time in the last ten years without thinking about the repeat rights to its own programmes then it has been asleep.

    I am listening to unabridged readings now, filling in the time until Test Match Special is back on the air so I can have radio that I want to listen to all day.

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  • Comment number 90. Posted by wheels5894

    on 22 Apr 2011 11:57

    Yes, quellenouvelles, all the rubbishy factual stuff too. Seriously,the Comedy Club ought to be comedy not talking-about-comedy. Maybe they have run out of programmes for the slots in the Comedy Club or putting chat programmes is cheaper. Oh, and do you find Arthur Smith annoying introducing these programmes? Bring back Alex Riley I say!

    Either way, I no longer listen to Radio 4 Xtra though I might re-consider if the Crime and Thrillers really come back at 01:00hrs

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  • Comment number 89. Posted by quellenouvelles

    on 22 Apr 2011 09:19

    Ambridge extra - lightweight; "Sneaky peeks" and "What's so funny" - unnecessary and uninteresting trailers for so called "comedy" and why are TV programmes included for review?; old interviews - I could keep listing. Radio 7 was distinctive from Radio 4 because there was something for everyone - drama, comedy, sci fi, thrillers - true choice. Please may we have it back? ASAP!

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  • Comment number 88. Posted by Hookedon7

    on 21 Apr 2011 16:01

    Hello, Hello, anyone there? (silence)

    Ahhh, probably all out to lunch!


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