Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Press Release

Radio 2 keeps the faith

BBC Radio 2

Each year, BBC Radio 2's Faith In The World Week examines the impact of religion on culture and society through a particular theme. This year, the theme is money and faith and features a special programme presented by Dragons' Den millionaire Duncan Bannatyne asking Can Money Make You Happy?

Further programming includes Aled Jones's Good Morning Sunday and Sunday Half Hour, with Brian D'Arcy, along with contributions to Pause For Thought.

Faith In The World – Can Money Make You Happy? (Tuesday 26 October, 10-11pm)

In a special documentary, one of the UK's most well known entrepreneurs, Duncan Bannatyne, explores the different attitudes towards money from various religious traditions.

Meeting people from all walks of life he encounters traditional and contemporary perspectives from those who have experienced great wealth or poverty. The programme explores alternative systems of dealing with money, such as Islamic banking and a Christian approach to debt and hears from business leaders, celebrities and religious figures who have particular and distinctive views on money.

With a timely reflection on the effect of the current financial crisis, Duncan looks at whether we are now challenging our beliefs, theories and principles over money. He meets young city philanthropists, a church organisation helping people crippled by debt, psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos, media guru Max Clifford and TV vicar Peter Owen Jones, who tried to live for a year without money.

Duncan asks the crucial questions: Does money hold the secret to having a happy life? Should money be a means to an end or the goal itself? Have we learnt anything from the current situation?

Talking about money and whether it brings happiness, Duncan says: "It's hard for me to know how happy or unhappy I would be if I hadn't been successful in business. I get more happiness and joy out of knowing that I've built the business and have achieved that, than the money – which in some ways is a by-product of it."

He continues: "What's happened is we have developed a country where we need money ... but, in some ways, we focus on it too much instead of focusing on the things that are important. I think what we need to learn is that people are more important than money, people around you, relationships.

"Happiness doesn't have to come with money and money doesn't always come with happiness. What we've learned from this is what you can do with the money that's important – not having it."

Aled Jones with Good Morning Sunday (Sunday 24 October, 6–9am)

At the start of Faith In The World Week, Aled Jones says Good Morning Sunday to Howard Marks. Oxford graduate and former international cannabis smuggler Howard Marks lived a lucrative life as a result of his illegal trade before he was arrested and tried by the American Justice System. 

He served seven years in prison. Now, living back in the UK, he is the subject of a major feature film, Mr Nice, based on his best-selling autobiography of the same name. Marks considers the role money has played in his life and talks about his interest in eastern philosophies and the influence both now play in his life.

Aled also talks to Matthew Syed, The Times correspondent and sports journalist, who joins the show to mark the 50 year anniversary of Muhammed Ali's first professional fight and to discuss how his iconic status and wealth has enabled him to promote good works and philanthropic endeavours.

Aled's faith guest is the Reverend Peter Owen Jones, presenter of BBC Two's How To Live A Simple Life, who explains what he feels he gained by living a simple life for a whole year, living within limited means.

Aled Jones with Good Morning Sunday (Sunday 31 October, 6-9am)

To mark the end of Faith In The World Week, Aled talks to social entrepreneur John Bird who was born in London to a poor family. He became homeless at the age of five, lived in an orphanage between the ages of seven and 10 and went into prison in his teenage years. He slept rough on the streets of London and returned to prison a number of times in his late twenties. 

As the founder of the Big Issue in June 1995, he was awarded the MBE for "services to homeless people." And, in 2006, he received the Beacon Fellowship Prize for his energy and originality in raising awareness of homelessness and his support of homeless communities worldwide. Bird discusses to what extent the role that money and resources can play in alleviating the plight of those most marginalised.

Aled also speaks to Abbot Christopher Jamison, who has been outspoken about the relationship between the financial markets and ethics. Commissioned to help with the development of the Financial Services Authority's An Ethical Framework for Financial Services, he offered the classical virtues of fortitude, justice, temperance and prudence as an ethical foundation for the financial services industry. Christopher is also well known as the former Abbot of Worth Abbey, which featured in the BBC Two series The Monastery.

Sunday Half Hour (Sunday 24 October, 8.30–9pm)

Presenter Brian D'Arcy explores one of the most frequently discussed topics in the New Testament – money and the love of money. With hymns, listener dedications and reflection, this edition's music includes Count Your Blessings, Blest Are The Pure In Heart and Be Still My Soul.

Pause For Thought

During the week, Pause For Thought on Chris Evans's Breakfast Show and Alex Lester's Early Morning Show will reflect the money theme, with contributions from Father Brian D'Arcy, Baroness Rabbi Julia Neuberger (on Chris Evans's show) and John Kirkby from Christians Against Poverty (on Alex Lester's show).

Radio 2 is the UK's most listened-to radio station, with a weekly reach of 13.73m listeners. The network covers a diverse and rich mix from social action campaigns to religious programming, live concerts to the arts. The station broadcasts an unrivalled range of music covering over 20 genres, from soul to organ music, show tunes to rhythm and blues. Committed to music, The Radio 2 Young Choristers Of The Year is one of the years' highlights, alongside the Radio 2 Young Brass Soloist competition and the British Folk Awards.

Radio 2 continues to feature religious programming as one of the core components of its schedule. The weekday Pause For Thought slots within Alex Lester's show (2-5am), the early Breakfast Show (5-6am from Monday 11 October 2010) and The Chris Evans Breakfast Show (6.30-9.30am) are heard by over 10m listeners every week, and Good Morning Sunday and Sunday Half Hour welcomes listeners with a mix of hymns and reflection.


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