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29 October 2014
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New digital station from BBC Radio

BBC 7 logo

The BBC today (Monday 30 September) announced the launch of BBC 7, the newest digital network to be added to BBC Radio's portfolio of services.

Mary Kalemkerian, Editor BBC 7, says: "There's nothing like being asked to create a brand new network from the biggest broadcasting archive in the world to get the adrenalin going.

"For me and my team it's been exhilarating, exciting, and at times frightening.

"BBC 7 gives us a tremendous opportunity to bring new listeners to speech radio through a range of wonderful programmes and the latest technology."

BBC 7 offers a unique blend of entertainment with comedy, drama and readings and daily children's programmes.

BBC 7's Big Toe is the new, live and interactive programme for nine to 11-year-olds, on seven days a week from 4.00 to 6.00pm.

Every afternoon, Big Toe rules, with games, features, interviews, competitions and comments with, by and from children.

Every day there will be five stories from some of the best known children's authors such as Roald Dahl, Jacqueline Wilson, Anne Fine and Philip Pullman.

Some of the great readers who will be heard in Big Toe include Ralf Little (The Royle Family), John Sessions and Natalie Cassidy (Sonia in EastEnders).

Big Toe presenters Kirsten O'Brien and Jez Edwards with children from Byron Court Primary SchoolThere will be children in the studio and on the phone ready to join in the quizzes and competitions and to talk to the guests (those lined up include storytellers, musicians, drummers, astronomers and scientists to name but a few).

The website gives listeners another way of interacting with the show and joining in with the children in the studio.

Big Toe aims to have lots of live music too. Some of the most exciting new talent is currently being recruited to present the programme including Jez Edwards and Kirsten O'Brien.

Ruth Gardiner, who is the Editor of the Children's Unit, BBC Radio, responsible for developing the new show, says: "We've tried very hard to listen to what children tell us they like and dislike - and they're never afraid to say what they think.

"I'm sure we won't get it completely right at the start - but we'll be listening to their feedback once they hear Big Toe."

Younger brothers and sisters haven't been forgotten. They have their own stories and readings presented as part of BBC 7's Little Toe, aimed at the younger listeners. Little Toe opens the day's broadcasting at 7.00am.

Adults who love good comedy, enthralling drama and the best in modern and classic fiction will want to spend time with BBC 7.

Each day there is seven hours of comedy, over five hours of drama and over two hours of books, all zoned for easy access.

Helen Boaden, Controller, Radio 4, says: "It's not every Controller that has the privilege of launching a new station.

"I'm tremendously proud of the team that has developed such an exciting sound for BBC 7 which we believe will bring a whole new audience to speech radio with the great new children's show and the wonderful programmes the rest of us already value so much."

BBC 7 completes the family of digital stations launched this year by BBC Radio: 1Xtra delivers urban music to a young audience, Five Live Sports Extra provides extra coverage for sports fans, 6 Music is the station for people who are passionate about rock and pop music and the yet-to-be launched Asian Network, which goes live on 28 October.

BBC 7 will follow the Asian Network onto the air in the next few months.

Notes to Editors

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