Print this page Print this page

Long Description

The Long description is a maximum of 1800 characters including spaces. Everything you write in the long description will appear unedited on the web.

Jump straight to - Where it goes? | Who uses it? | Top Tips | Series | Drama | Cast Lists | Classical Music

Where the Long Description goes?

The Long Description provides the text for your /programmes page and iPlayer page when the 'more information' hypertext is clicked. (the description appears on both these platforms unedited)



Who uses the Long description?

The long description is used by presentation, publicity, press and iPlayer picture editors to get the information they need about the programme. (You no longer submit seperate billings, promo notes and trails.)

Top Tips

Everything you write in this field is public-facing

Despite the name, this description shouldn't be long - it just needs to provide more detail.

Anything longer than 150 words will get subbed down by the marketing team, if they use it for publicity purposes, plus we know online audiences prefer short snappy descriptions.

Only if there's a real need (such as many items to describe, or a particularly complex plot) should you go longer than 150 words. 


PIG-longlongdescription.jpgUse short sentences. Avoid too many commas. Remember it is web/print copy and not a radio script, so write appropriately. Don't copy and paste the top of your script of the original proposal summary.

No Spoilers!  Don't give away the plot.

The Long Description is self-standing, so must include the same information as in the Medium Description.

Aim for an information-rich description of the themes/people/places/stories your programme is about.

Don't put your Brand, Series or Episode Title in the Long Description. It will automatically be provided to all platforms and appear above your description automatically.


Provide details about talent/writers if relevant.

If you want to include a producer/director credit end with the producer's name as follows:  Producer: (name)

If you are an indie mention your production company at the bottom of the long descriptions.
e.g. This is a XXXXX production for Radio X

Don’t use PROMO NOTE, NOTES, DESCRIPTION or BILLINGS in your Long Sescription. These terms are surplus to requirements and mean nothing to the audience.

Don’t include time-specific references (e.g. next month, this week, Next week will look at …) It won’t make sense on the website. Especially post TX, and when the page becomes an archive page.

Check your descriptions before submitting.  Spelling errors/misspelt names will look embarrassing on the website.

Don’t enter the programme TX details in the long description e.g. day, date, repeat, or time – this information is provided automatically.

e.g. Join us this afternoon at two fifteen for our afternoon play


First episode include a short series description as well as the episode specific description.

Remaining episodes - include episode-specific information, add a sentence with series info if that would help with the context


You need the following information (example below):

  • Author 
  • Brief overview
  • Episode specific description
  • Cast list
  • Music
  • Production team
  • Production company (if independent)  


Cast Lists

Cast Lists should be laid out as follows:

Character Name ….. Actor Name (Name, space, five dots, space, Name)

Jill Archer ..... Patricia Greene
Kenton Archer ..... Richard Attlee
David Archer ..... Timothy Bentinck

Don't use tabs, as the system doesn't recognise them.

If you want other credits to be published, place them under the cast list and lay them out as shown below:

Incidental music: composed by Steve Faux.
Written by Caroline Harrington
Directed by Rosemary Watts

Producer: Julia Durbin
Editor: Vanessa Whitburn

Next: Deadlines







The BBC Radio business, legal and rights requirements
How BBC Radio commissions programmes
Contact Information and Archives for programme research

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.