Radio 2 launches 'Radio 2 Eurovision' pop-up DAB radio station

Every year, Eurovision is a moment that unites many people around the UK, as well as Europe. I'm proud to be offering a truly digital experience in 2014 with coverage across Radio 2 and Radio 2 Eurovision on digital radio. And we have an incredible line-up of presenting talent, bringing all the excitement, sartorial disasters and musical catastrophes to our listeners.Bob Shennan, Controller of Radio 2, 6 Music, Asian Network and Director of Music
Date: 29.03.2014     Last updated: 31.03.2014 at 14.03
Category: Radio 2
The BBC has today announced the launch of 'Radio 2 Eurovision', a pop-up digital radio station to celebrate this year’s Eurovision Song Contest and complement the output on BBC Radio 2 and TV networks BBC One and BBC Three.

The BBC’s first digital pop-up station since Olympics Extra in 2012, it will offer the most comprehensive coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest to date, from Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 May 2014, aiming to satisfy the most enthusiastic Eurovision fan.

Radio 2 Eurovision will air from midday to midnight over the four days of transmission, except on the big day Saturday 10 May, when it will be simulcast with Radio 2 from 10am to 1pm with Graham Norton’s regular weekly show, when he will be live on air from this year’s host city, Copenhagen.

The network will feature shows presented by Radio 4's Paddy O’Connell, Radio 1's Scott Mills and Radio 2's Maria McErlane, Ken Bruce, Terry Wogan, who presented his legendary TV commentary from 1973 to 2008, and Michael Ball.

Bob Shennan, Controller of Radio 2, 6 Music, Asian Network and Director of Music, says: “Every year, Eurovision is a moment that unites many people around the UK, as well as Europe. I'm proud to be offering a truly digital experience in 2014 with coverage across Radio 2 and Radio 2 Eurovision on digital radio. And we have an incredible line-up of presenting talent, bringing all the excitement, sartorial disasters and musical catastrophes to our listeners.”

Listeners to Radio 2 Eurovision will be able to hear highlights of the first semi-final on Thursday afternoon with the second semi-final live on Thursday night. And Paddy O’Connell will be live every day from Denmark with the latest news from behind the scenes, as well as hosting the Eurovision post-show party on the Saturday night.

Radio 2 Eurovision will also feature a range of brand new programmes including The Luck Of The Irish in which Sir Terry Wogan reflects on why Ireland is the most successful country in Eurovision history; Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic takes to the air alongside members of 1981 winners, Bucks Fizz, ahead of the competition final on Saturday night which will be simulcast on both networks from 8pm to 11pm; and David Quantick presents The Blagger's Guide to Eurovision (Thursday 8 May, 5pm).

There will also be special Eurovision-themed editions of Sounds Of The 60s with Brian Matthew (Friday 9 May, 5pm). Sounds Of The 70s with Johnnie Walker (Thursday 8 May, 7pm) and Sounds Of The 80s with Sara Cox (Thursday 8 May, 3.30pm). Stand by for songs from Bardo, Dana International, Sandie Shaw and the kings and queens of Eurovision - Abba. Plus there will be documentaries from the BBC archive.

Radio 2 Eurovision (@R2eurovision) will appear on digital radio, at bbc.co.uk/radio2, on the BBC iPlayer Radio App and the UK Radio Player. A live online blog will be updating listeners with the latest news and images throughout the big event and will include the audiences’ views and contributions via social media.

This year, the singer songwriter Molly Smitten-Downes is the 2014 entrant for The Eurovision Song Contest, performing her own song ‘Children of the Universe’. Molly, aged 26, from Leicestershire, was discovered through BBC Introducing, which supports some of the best new and under-the-radar musicians across the UK, and she was invited to compose and perform a song especially for the competition.

The song ‘Children of the Universe’ is an anthemic, uplifting track specifically written with live performance in mind. The music video was recorded live to showcase Molly’s incredible vocal ability. She will be flying the flag for the United Kingdom at the 59th Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark, in front of an estimated global audience of over 120 million viewers.

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place on Saturday 10 May in Copenhagen, Denmark, broadcast live on BBC One and BBC One HD, with commentary by Graham Norton and live on BBC Radio 2 with commentary from Ken Bruce. The semi-finals will be held on Tuesday 6 and Thursday 8 May, broadcast on BBC Three and BBC Three HD hosted by Scott Mills.

AF2