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Thursday 24 Apr 2014

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BBC celebrates 75 years at Maida Vale with feast of radio

Miss Elizabeth Cowell listening to a recording of her voice at Maida Vale Studios in 1936

The BBC is to celebrate the 75th anniversary of its famous Maida Vale Studios with a day of special concerts and broadcasts from the venue.

On Friday 30 October all of the BBC's radio networks will broadcast programmes from the historic building, including: live music on BBC Radio 2; Dame Kiri Te Kanawa performing with the BBC Symphony Orchestra; a Live Lounge from Snow Patrol on BBC Radio 1, alongside 75 classic Maida Vale session songs on the station throughout the day; a special edition of BBC Radio 4's Front Row; a performance from the BBC Symphony Orchestra on BBC Radio 3; and sets from BBC 6 Music's Craig Charles and BBC 1Xtra's Max.

The BBC's association with the former skating rink began in 1934 when the BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Singers moved into the newly refurbished building.

The studios were used to broadcast news across Europe during the Second World War and were the home of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop from 1958 to 1996 and Radio 1's Peel Sessions from 1967 until 2004. They also hosted early radio performances from legendary acts including The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie and drama recordings for Radio 3 and Radio 4 including Dr Zhivago and King Lear.

Today, Radio 1 and Radio 2 regularly use Maida Vale for live music performances – the Arctic Monkeys recently played a high profile set there – and radio dramas are still regularly recorded in the building.

Tim Davie, Director BBC Audio & Music, said: "Maida Vale has played a unique role in British music and arts for 75 years. The thousands of people who have passed through its doors have created some of BBC Radio's most memorable moments. Our celebrations promise to offer listeners some exceptional live performances which are a fitting tribute to this legendary venue."

Programmes so far confirmed for the celebration:

Radio 1 will play songs from 75 Maida Vale sessions across the day and feature a Live Lounge performance with Snow Patrol from Maida Vale.

1Xtra will broadcast Max live from Maida Vale in the afternoon.

Radio 2 has a range of music throughout the day, with the Stereophonics on Janice Long, a live set from Jamie Cullum and a special Friday Night Is Music Night with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Barry Wordsworth.

The BBC Symphony Orchestra also perform for Radio 3 at 2.00pm, conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier.

In speech broadcasting, Radio 4’'s arts magazine Front Row comes live from Maida Vale and the network also records With Great Pleasure with Paul Gambaccini in the studios.

BBC Radio 5 Live joins the celebration with Simon Mayo's show broadcasting live from the venue.

Digital network 6 Music hosts its funk night with Craig Charles and an all-star live band.

BBC Radio 7 raids the BBC archive to punctuate the day with entertainment programmes recorded in W9, including Don Quixote starring Paul Scofield and Bob Hoskins, Doctor Who – Paradise of Death, starring Jon Pertwee and a Radiophonic Workshop selection, introduced and discussed by Richard Cole.

More programming will be confirmed nearer the time.

JA

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