Press Office

Thursday 10 Jul 2014

Press Release

Autumn changes to Radio 4 schedule

In her first reorganisation of the BBC Radio 4 schedule, Controller Gwyneth Williams is to extend The World At One by 15 minutes, with effect from the 7 November.

For the first time in its history the programme will run at 45 minutes, allowing it more space to explore and explain the busy domestic and international news agenda. Other autumn changes will include a new comedy strand, the introduction of new science and head-to-head interview programmes and the reshaping of the afternoon schedule.

Gwyneth Williams says: "The extension of The World At One, presented by the formidable Martha Kearney, is demanded by the current pace and importance of news events. The longer slot will enable the programme to cover a wider range of running stories, both foreign and domestic. The science programme will bring new relevant voices to Radio 4 and I hope that listeners will enjoy the new Sunday night comedy and the innovative interview programme that for the first time gives top presenters and journalists the chance to follow their passions with guests of their choice."

From 11 October, two new weekly programmes will grace the Radio 4 airwaves: The Life Scientific, presented by Jim Al-Khalili, focuses on the scientists whose work is changing our world; One To One, the new 15-minute interview programme will begin with Lyce Doucet talking to some surprising people she has met in Afghanistan.

Sunday evenings will also see changes this autumn. Sunday Night Comedy will replace Americana at 7.15pm on Sunday evenings from 18 September. Comedies such as a new panel game Dilemma, hosted by Sue Perkins; political satire from Rory Bremner; and a new series from Cabin Pressure star and writer John Finnemore in John Finnemore's Sketch Show, will all bring cheer to Sunday evenings.

To facilitate The World At One extension and to streamline the schedule, the broadcast times of some programmes will change (see notes to editors).

Notes to Editors

The last time The World At One duration was changed was in 1998 when it was reduced from 40 minutes to half an hour.

The Life Scientific will be broadcast on Tuesday mornings from 9-9.30am, after which One To One will run for 15 minutes.

The narrative history series will move from its 3.45pm slot to 1.45pm, following on from The World At One. The first series at the new time will be A History Of The Brain, presented by Professor Geoff Bunn.

Rory Bremner's show Tonight will be broadcast from Sunday 16 October at 7.45pm (originated Thursday before at 11pm).

From November, the short stories (currently running at 3.30pm, Tuesday-Thursday) will be rescheduled with some broadcast at 3.45pm on Friday and some at 7.45pm on Sunday.

From next spring, the number of short stories will be reduced from three to one a week on Radio 4. There will also be readings on Radio 4 Extra.

Those programmes that followed The World At One at 1.30pm will, on the whole, be broadcast between 3-5pm, from 7 November. The reorganisation of the afternoon schedule will be run along the following lines:

3-3.30pm – programmes of an interactive nature (Money Box Live/GQT)
3.30-4pm – factual programmes (the Food Programme/Costing The Earth)
4-4.30pm – arts related programming (A Good Read/popular arts documentaries)
4.30-5pm – topical programming (The Media Show/The Film Programme)

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