BBC Radio 4

    Welcome to Radio 4 Extra

    After we bid a fond farewell to BBC Radio 7 after over 8 years on-air - what a delight to be able instead to welcome you to the world of BBC Radio 4 Extra.

    Whether you're a newbie or one of our loyal band of followers - I can promise you plenty to enjoy in our new schedule, which kicks off tomorrow at 6am.

    In keeping with the joys of spring, and the romance of weddings in the air, we are delivering the traditional 'Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue' in our new line-up for the rebranded digital radio station.

    For Something Old, Radio 4 Extra will open with a 90' production of George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man, starring Andrew Sachs and directed in 1984 by former Head of BBC Radio Drama, John Tydeman.

    John e-mailed us with the following message:

    Seven was Heaven! Since the same team are now scheduling Extra, I have every hope that it too will be something Extra good! There's a gold-mine to be mined of nuggets from the BBC's speech archive, and all programmes in the archive are there because of excellence or because they are of exceptional interest. Gold does not tarnish and often grows in value with age. Listeners are sure to be in for a rich experience for many years to come

    Very well expressed, John.

    For Something New, we have commissioned new children's dramas, beginning with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a family friendly magazine series, The Four O' Clock Show and an excellent archive drama new to the network, Fortunes of War. There's also plenty of new comedy, including a comedy magazine What's So Funny? presented by Rufus Hound.

    Something Borrowed: well, the bulk of our programmes are already borrowed from the archive, but for 4 Extra, in addition to 'borrowing' Desert Island Discs and Ambridge from our sister station Radio 4, we've also borrowed some of the Radio 4 announcers to present some of our programmes. Alan, Kathy, Neil, Rory and Susan Alan and will be joining our presentation team over the coming weeks.

    Something Blue? - certainly not our comedy, classic or contemporary! But blue is the colour of the Radio 4 logo, and we've moved a shade away from blue to the lovely, warm colour purple for Radio 4 Extra, as you can see on our website.

    If we've managed to tempt you - BBC Radio 4 Extra is available to enjoy on digital radio, digital television and online.

    Mary Kalemkerian is Head of Programmes at BBC Radio 4 Extra

    • The picture, from the BBC picture archive, shows George Bernard Shaw at the microphone in 1931. John Tydeman's production of Shaw's Arms and the Man opens broadcasting for 4 Extra tomorrow morning at 0600.
    • These words are from Mary's hugely popular weekly newsletter. Sign up to have it delivered to your email inbox free of charge here.

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