The remit of Radio 3 is to offer a mix of music and cultural programming in order to engage and entertain its audience. Around its core proposition of classical music, its speech-based programming should inform and educate the audience about music and culture. Jazz, world music, drama, the arts and ideas, and religious programming should feature in its output.

The station should appeal to listeners of any age seeking to expand their cultural horizons through engagement with the world of music and the arts. 

Find more information on the remit for Radio 3.


Commissioning round updates

RADIO 3 Commissioning Opportunities

The contracts for several Radio 3 strands come to an end next year, and so those slots will be put out for offers from in-house and independent producers as part of Radio 3's WoCC, with the following timetable:

Slot                                    Date brief issued   Closing Date for offers   Offers meetings/Results

Late Night Jazz Programme           1.10.15                    19.11.15                       mid-Dec 2015

Sunday Morning Programme          5.11.15                     5.1.16                          end Jan 2016

Private Passions                            5.11.15                     5.1.16                          mid Feb 2016

Late Junction                                5.11.15                      5.1.16                          mid Feb 2016

Commissioning briefs detailing the network’s requirements for each of these slots and the full process will be issued on each of the issue dates listed above.  The successful bids will be contracted initially for one year with the option to extend for up to two further years subject to performance.

Sunday Feature, The Essay, Between the Ears, Specials

Radio 3's next major commissioning round, covering the non-drama speech strands (Sunday Feature, The Essay, Between the Ears, Specials)for April 2016- March 2015, will open on Thursday 10 September 2015.  We will hold an open morning at 11am on Tuesday 15 September in the Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House, so please keep that morning free - an invitation for the open morning will be sent in due course.

The timetable for the round will follow a similar pattern to last year, but we’ll confirm closing and results dates (and further details of the open morning) when we send out the briefson 10 September 2015.

Drama on Radio 3

Download the full brief (PDF)

Round opens 27th May 2015
Round closes 30th July
Results published  9th October 2015

Please note there is a delay for the closing date of the current Radio 3 Drama commissioning round (20162017 Round 1) until Thursday July 30th (a week later than the previous date).  

Please familiarise yourself with the following documents:

All proposals should be submitted on the Commissioning website using the following specifications:

Year 20162017, Commissioning Round 1, Brief reference no. 31242 (Drama on 3), closing date and time: 12 noon, Thursday 23 July 2015.

We will not be operating a pre-offers system for this round, but you are encouraged to discuss offers in advance with Matthew Dodd, Head of Speech Programming, either by email or in person (through Lea Lauvray on 0207 765 3366 AFTER 1 June 2015).  In recent years the vast majority of successful proposals have been raised in advance so we encourage you to take advantage of this procedure,  but please do not leave all your enquiries to the last minute.  The commissioning editor is unlikely to be able to offer feedback on offers sent only a few days before the closing date.

Although we don’t require hard copies of the offers themselves, where necessary you should send any supporting material (scripts, examples of previous work etc) to Lea Lauvray, clearly indicating on the online offer exactly what has been sent.  Please also label such material with the title of the offer, commissioning brief and return address details, and complete and attach the enclosed supporting material inventory.

Please ensure that a brief summary of the offer is included in the “short synopsis” section of the proposal as well as full details in the “synopsis” box. We don’t need a full breakdown of budgets - but at the point of commission, a formal price offer will be made, based on your estimate - so please ensure that this is realistic and that it is entered in the notes field - this is very important. Please also take care to enter a realistic delivery date on your offers, as we will use this during the commissioning process to draw up a draft schedule.

Feedback to offers, in the form of acceptance on to a shortlist, or rejection, will be on the system by Friday 9 October 2015.  Once the editorial brief and budget have been finally agreed, contracts will be issued by Radio Commercial and Legal Affairs Department.  No work should be undertaken until the contract has been received.

If you have any questions or queries regarding the commissioning process for Radio 3 please contact David Ireland.

Radio Production companies should sign up to the Radio Independent Production Company Database to hear communications about rounds and tenders when they open.


Commissioning process

Radio 3's schedule includes a number of long-running strands which are not usually re-commissioned annually. 

If you wish to hear details regarding the Radio 3 commissioning rounds, you will need to be part of the Radio Independent Supplier Database and indicate that you wish to hear details about Radio 3 and its strands.

When a commissioning round opens, editorial briefs, including guide-prices and durations, are sent out to registered suppliers and eligible in-house departments. During the commissioning round, producers are strongly recommended to discuss ideas with the relevant commissioning editor. After offers have been submitted, and the results have been communicated, editorial and budgetary discussions take place around the shortlisted commissions before final confirmation. 

The commissioning editors are happy to meet producers and discuss ideas throughout the year, however we will usually only be able to give a general steer in advance of the formal rounds.   



All commissions are signed off by Alan Davey, Controller Radio 3.


Additional information

Programme-makers are advised to read information on the How to pitchHow we do business and Delivery timeline pages before submitting proposals.

If you would like to know more about BBC Radio 3 programmes, content and schedules, please visit the Radio 3 station website.  



Latest Radio news

More news