BBC Radio 2 summer highlights
I can’t wait to get back on the radio, so to be presenting on Radio 2 this summer on Saturday mornings with Martin Kemp is going to be absolutely brilliant.Fearne Cotton
While Graham Norton takes his summer break, Fearne Cotton and Martin Kemp will be making their Radio 2 debuts with a new live show from Saturday 9 July until Saturday 10 September.
Fearne and Martin will team up for a lively show of banter, good music and top guests. As well as looking back at and mulling over some of the more offbeat news stories from the past week that you may have missed, Fearne and Martin will be joined each week by two top celebrity guests.
Plus in a fully interactive show some listeners will be able to 'Meet Their Hero' live on air via the phone and ask them a question. From time to time there will be the odd acoustic performance live in the studio. Every week there will be three tracks from a classic vintage album of the week alternately chosen by Fearne or Martin.
Fearne, who presented her last Radio 1 show on 22 May 2015, says: “I can’t wait to get back on the radio, so to be presenting on Radio 2 this summer on Saturday mornings with Martin Kemp is going to be absolutely brilliant.”
Martin says: “Radio 2, Fearne Cotton, every Saturday through the summer! When they asked me to work with Radio 2 I never expected this! It's gonna be a great way to spend my Saturday mornings... chatting to great guests, some fun and games and playing my favourite tracks with one of the most experienced radio DJs out there! Now things are really warming up... Roll on the summer!”
Saturday 9 July sees two further changes to the Radio 2 schedule.
Paul Gambaccini will now present Pick Of The Pops on Saturday afternoons from 1pm-3pm. Produced by Phil ‘The Collector’ Swern at independent producers Unique, the programme will continue to feature two years of music from the 1950s to the 2000s.
Paul says: “I am honoured to be asked to present one of Britain's iconic radio programmes. I will strive to meet the standards of my illustrious predecessors, including Alan Freeman and Tony Blackburn.”
Trevor Nelson will move from a one-hour Wednesday evening show at 11pm to a new two hour Saturday evening show from 8pm-10pm. It will be produced by independent producers Somethin’ Else.
Trevor says: “Listeners to my Radio 2 soul show have been asking me for years if it could be extended, so I’m very happy that every Saturday night for two hours I can play my favourite soulful tracks to make Saturday night in the new Saturday night out. I couldn't pick a more perfect slot.”
When Clare Balding takes a summer break and heads to the Olympic Games in Rio, Good Morning Sunday will be hosted by Fern Britton from 31 July until 18 September.
Fern said: “Radio is a real passion of mine and I’ve always had a thoroughly brilliant time every time I’ve previously sat in the hot seat. I’m looking forward to spending my summer holidays with the Radio 2 audience.”
A drivetime special, Bill Nighy’s Record Collection: Restored (Monday 30 May, 5pm - 7pm) explores the story behind actor Bill Nighy’s record collection. A few years ago, Bill’s precious vinyl record collection was ruined when his house was flooded. Music by Bob Dylan, John Lee Hooker, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and other artists were lost, and it was a heartbreaking moment for Bill.
Listening to music “on pods”, as he calls them, is not quite the same. Now, in a Bank Holiday Drivetime special, produced by TBI Media, Simon Mayo has tracked down the best LPs from the collection and reunites Bill with the extraordinary music that was the soundtrack of his life.
Paper Cuts is back for a new series. Launching tonight (24 May, 10pm - 11pm) for three weeks, Kate Thornton is joined by Gloria Hunniford, Eamonn Holmes and Louis Walsh as they look back at their life and career via their newspaper headlines.
The legendary front man and co-founder of glam rock kings KISS, Gene Simmons, returns for another series of Classic Rock on Radio 2. I Love It Loud: The Gene Simmons Rock Show, which launches on 8 June (10pm-11pm) for four weekly episodes, features the music that inspired and thrilled him, or in his words "makes my blood boil" - Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and The Move.
Listeners will also be able to join broadcaster and journalist Eve Pollard for a special programme Our Queen: 90 Musical Years (Sunday 12 June, 7pm - 9pm) as she celebrates the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II through music. In an affectionate and joyful tribute, the show charts The Queen’s 90 years through music - both the music of her time and the music that she personally enjoys.
We speak to the people who know the Queen best, those who have met her, performed for her and those who are her friends. Contributors include the Queen’s cousins, the Honourable Margaret Rhodes and Lady Elizabeth Anson; her friend, the Dowager Duchess of Caenarvon; the Minister of Cathie Church; the Dean of Westminster; Gyles Brandreth and Laurie Mansfield, President of the Entertainment Artistes Benevolent Fund, and closely involved with the Royal Variety Show.
Eve says: “Putting this programme together for Radio 2 has been an absolute joy. I had no idea that the Queen was so musical and that her musical taste would be so ‘popular’. The show was great fun to make and I hope the audience enjoy listening to it as much as I did making it.”
For the second year in a row, Radio 2 has a broadcast partnership with Art Fund for Museum of the Year. Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar announced the Museum Of The Year shortlist on The Radio 2 Arts Show with Jonathan Ross on Thursday 28 April, and week commencing 27 June, a number of Radio 2 presenters will visit the shortlisted museums and report back on air, with the winning museum director appearing on the Chris Evans show on Thursday 7 July.