Wednesday 29 Oct 2014
BBC Radio 2 today announces that Alan Titchmarsh With Melodies For You (Sundays 7-8.30pm), will come to an end after four and a half years with Alan at the helm.
Alan Titchmarsh will continue to present on the network and the station is currently in discussions with him about presenting a series on operetta and hosting a run of Friday Night Is Music Night – the world's longest-running live music performance programme – celebrating 60 years of the BBC Concert Orchestra, both in 2012.
The last show will be broadcast on Sunday 28 August. In the short term in that timeslot, listeners will hear a variety of new commissions, as well as another chance to listen to some of Radio 2's classic series. On Sunday 4 September, the network will present an exclusive programme featuring singing legend Barbra Streisand in conversation with Oscar-winning lyricist Don Black. Recorded in Los Angeles this month, Barbra talks about her illustrious career as well as her new album.
Other series to be broadcast in the next few months include Barry Manilow's They Write The Songs which includes episodes on Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Rodgers And Hammerstein and Leonard Bernstein, Tony Bennett's Great American Songbook, The Bob Hope Trail, and The Alan and Marilyn Bergman Story featuring their music from classic movies and Broadway hits. In the longer term, Controller of Radio 2 Bob Shennan will be looking at opportunities to increase the audience to this range of music across the network.
Bob says: "I'd like to thank Alan for his contribution to Sunday nights for the past four and half years, and I'm delighted that Radio 2 will continue to work with him in the future.
"This was a tough decision but, with Alan's contract coming up for renewal, I am taking the opportunity to review the way that Radio 2 presents popular classic and light music, to make sure we bring it to the widest possible audience in a way that best delivers value for money. I know that many listeners enjoy popular classic and light music, so we will initially broadcast some classic series on Sunday evenings while we look at further ways of celebrating the music on the network."
Alan said: "It's very sad as Melodies For You has always had a very loyal listenership who clearly cherish the programme, and I'd like to thank them for their steadfast support during the past four and a half years. However, I'm heartened the music will continue to be broadcast on Radio 2 and I'm looking forward to working on other programmes on the network."
Melodies For You features a mix of popular classic and light music and over the years has been presented by Richard Baker, Brian Kay and Sheridan Morley as well as Alan.
Radio 2 is UK's most listened to radio station, with a weekly reach of 13.97m listeners. The station plays many genre of live and recorded music, from reggae to folk, show tunes to big band, and has a wealth of history in championing new artists such as Adele, Paloma Faith and Amy Winehouse. Light music features in a wide variety of shows, including Friday Night Is Music Night, Elaine Paige On Sunday, Desmond Carrington, David Jacobs and in the station's broad range of documentaries. Recent documentaries include The Val Doonican Story, The George Formby Story, More Bands That Mattered about the golden age of British Dance bands, The Vera Lynn Story, The Paul Robeson Story, Joanna Lumley On Broadway and The Paul Anka Story to name but a few.
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