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Thursday 27 Nov 2014

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Radio 2 announces new schedule

Tommy Cooper in a 1952 tv programme

BBC Radio 2 today announces a new spring schedule to complement the network's ongoing commitment to comedy, documentaries and live music programming.

Radio 2's Comedy Hour finds a new home on Saturday nights between 10.00 and 11.00pm from 10 April.

Featuring both new and established names, highlights include specially-commissioned shows featuring Richard Wilson and Ricky Tomlinson; a new series from Irish stand-up Jason Byrne; and a five-part comedy panel show, Never Write Off The Germans, as part of the network's celebration of this summer's World Cup.

And, in the autumn, Radio 2 will scour the country in a bid to crown the New Stand-Up Of The Year.

Radio 2's documentary programming will run over consecutive nights on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10.00 to 11.00pm, from Monday 5 April.

Highlights include a new four-part series, presented by Michael Parkinson, in which Tony Bennett chooses his favourite songs from the Great American Songbook; another season of Comedy Great profiles including Bob Monkhouse, Tommy Cooper and Dave Allen; and, in May, Radio 2 celebrates the Sixties with a series of documentaries and features including profiles of JFK, David Frost and The Hollies.

And from Thursday 8 April, Sir Tim Rice takes listeners on musical exploration of each state of the USA in Tim Rice's American Pie at 11.00pm, beginning his journey in Washington.

Continuing the network's commitment to live music, Radio 2 In Concert is a new two-hour weekly programme broadcast on Thursday evenings between 8.00 and 10.00pm.

Featuring a headline concert specially recorded for the network, both new and from the archive, it will also feature a gig guide, a round-up of the week's live music offering across the network, and classic live album tracks.

Jo Whiley, Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie will be among the presenters fronting this new programme. Radio 2 In Concert launches on Thursday 15 April.

This new schedule also sees the extension of Radio 2's religious output as Good Morning Sunday, presented by Aled Jones, increases by one hour to run from 6.00 to 9.00am each Sunday morning, from 4 April.

Bob Shennan, Controller, Radio 2 and 6 Music, says: "These changes demonstrate our continuing efforts to evolve the schedule and ensure that Radio 2 remains distinctive, focusing on our commitment to documentary, comedy and live music programming.

"They follow recent announcements on a new jazz show presented by Jamie Cullum, a revision of our arts programming, and a refreshed and extended Friday Night Is Music Night.

"We hope that listeners will enjoy this new schedule and find it easy to navigate the wide variety of programming that the network has to offer."

Radio 2 Publicity

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