Press Office

Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

Programme Information

Network TV BBC Week 44
Red button feature

What's under the Red button?

Robbie Williams

BBC Red button, which launched almost 11 years ago, is currently used by 11 million people a week. Pressing the Red button on BBC channels when watching digital TV, either through satellite, cable or with a Freeview box, gives access to a whole host of extra entertainment and information. As well as the latest news, sport and weather, there's lots of other fresh content, ranging from Digital Text services, such as flight arrival information, to great extras and enhancements to favourite shows. There may be exclusive performances, videos or opportunities to watch and experience live events from different camera angles, with alternative audio tracks or access to behind-the-scenes information.

This dedicated section in Programme Information will keep viewers up to date with the latest information about what can be found under the Red button, enabling them to enjoy even more fantastic content from the BBC.

This week's information covers the period from 31 October to 20 November.

BBC Electric Proms

The BBC Electric Proms return for a fourth year on Tuesday 20 October, with a new format based around the BBC's four popular music networks. BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC 1Xtra and BBC 6 Music will each host days at the festival, with the programming based around each station's musical playlists and featuring headline acts: Robbie Williams, Dizzee Rascal with a live band and orchestra, Doves with the London Bulgarian Choir, as well as Dame Shirley Bassey and Smokey Robinson, both with the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Digital viewers can watch these festival headline performances unfold under the BBC's Red button between 21 and 31 October.

In addition, Sky and Virgin Media viewers will also be able to see Florence And The Machine performing as part of the New Music Shorts initiative. Seminal Manchester band Magazine will be gracing the Main Space with Doves, while the finest UK hip hop, R&B, garage, dancehall and drum and bass will be represented at 1Xtra's After Party.

A profile of the headline artists and the New Music Shorts initiative can also be found under the BBC Red button from 7.30pm on 18 October until the evening of Tuesday 20 October.

BBC Red button coverage: 18-31 October
Available on Sky, Virgin and Freeview
(not available on Freesat)

BBC Maida Vale @ Seventy Five – Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

On Friday 30 October, the BBC celebrates the 75th anniversary of its famous Maida Vale Studios with a day of special concerts and broadcasts from the venue across all of the BBC's radio networks.

Among the shows marking the occasion is BBC Radio 2's Friday Night Is Music Night, hosted by Ken Bruce, who introduces a special performance from Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Barry Wordsworth. The concert is broadcast live from Maida Vale Studio One from 7.30pm. It's also being filmed and a 30-minute highlights package will be shown on BBC Red button the following evening, running for a whole week.

See the Maida Vale @ Seventy Five press release for more details on the anniversary.

BBC Red button coverage: 31 October (6.30pm)-7 November
Available on Sky, Virgin and Freeview
(not available on Freesat)

Comedy Extra – Never Mind The Buzzcocks/The Thick Of It

The Thick Of It

With a raft of exciting new comedy airing on BBC Two this autumn, digital viewers in the mood to tickle the Red buttons on their remotes can keep the laughter going after their programme has finished.

The latest shows to get the BBC Red button treatment are Never Mind The Buzzcocks and The Thick Of It.

Buzzcocks recently returned to screens with new captain Noel Fielding. Now, following the Thursday night show and selected other evenings throughout November, Noel and fellow team captain Phill Jupitus will be stepping out from behind their buzzers to debate an Issue of Cultural Importance for BBC Red button. Discussions to date have revolved around the relative merits of Bryan Ferry and ferries, and just who is the greatest: legendary glam-rockers Wizzard or, er, wizards.

Armando Ianucci's Bafta-winning political comedy, The Thick Of It, is also back for eight new episodes when, once again, the Prime Minister's Director of Communications, played by Peter Capaldi, will be fighting the fires caused by The Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship. Digital viewers will be able to access exclusive additional content following each episode.

For more exclusive BBC Comedy footage visit the website at

Never Mind The Buzzcocks Extra is available following the Thursday night show and selected evenings throughout October and November.

The Thick Of It Extra is available following the BBC Two show and selected evenings from 24 October.

Available on Sky, Virgin and Freeview
(not available on Freesat)

BBC Children In Need Donation

This year's BBC Children In Need takes place on Friday 20 November and, once again, Sky viewers will be able to use their remote controls to make a donation in the week leading up to the big night.

Viewers with Freesat, Virgin Media and Freeview will be able to donate via the BBC Children In Need website at or by calling the donation line on 0345 7 33 22 33*

*Calls to 03 numbers are charged at no more than UK geographic rates (as for 01 and 02 numbers) and will be included as part of any inclusive minutes. Calls from mobiles may be higher.

Sky donation facility available from 14-22 November
(not available on Freeview, Virgin or Freesat)

Danny Baker on BBC Radio 5 Live

Danny Baker

When BBC Red button brought its cameras into the BBC Radio 5 Live studios to give viewers a glimpse behind the scenes of the 606 football phone-in show last year, Danny Baker and Tim Lovejoy were among the presenters. Now Danny is back with his Saturday morning show for the new football season and the cameras are continuing to roll.

As well as seeing the man himself, digital viewers pressing the Red button can send in texts and pictures to be shown on screen.

These will be accompanied by all the great content that's come to be expected from 5 Live: the weekend's football tables, fixture lists, upcoming commentaries, sports news and details of upcoming Red button content. Plus, digital viewers can look out for some rather more unexpected content: spoof fixtures and unique animations, as Danny sets up audience head-to-heads on the phone.

Brett Spencer, Interactive Editor at 5 live, discusses the visualisation in more depth on the station's blog.

BBC Red button coverage: Saturday mornings, 9-11am
Available on Sky, Virgin and Freeview
(not available on Freesat)

Sport Multiscreen*

Digital viewers can catch up on all the latest sport via the BBC Sport multiscreen. Sporting headlines are available around the clock with up to five additional streams available to cover the best that BBC Sport has to offer.

Coming Up...


With the fate of the drivers' championship still hanging in the balance at the time of writing, BBC Red button brings coverage of an exciting 2009 Formula 1 season to a close with the usual array of interactive options available during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.

F1 fans can customise their viewing experience with access to all on-track sessions, including Friday and Saturday practice and qualifying, while on race day itself, a choice of three streams will be available featuring split-screen in-car camera feeds, leaderboards and rolling highlights, with the option to listen to either network or BBC Radio 5 Live commentary.

Following on from the end of the race on BBC One there will be an additional interactive programme analysing the weekend's events and picking up views from the paddock.

Meanwhile, younger F1 fans are in pole position on race day as a host of familiar stars provide alternative commentary from the Yas Marina circuit. They can join Michael "Abs" Absalom, Kirsten O'Brien and F1 expert Perry McCarthy on the Sport Multiscreen for interviews, sketches and up-to-date info on what's happening in Abu Dhabi.

BBC Red button coverage: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from Friday 30 October

The full F1 schedule is available at:

Moto GP

BBC Red button is trackside in Valencia for the final round of the MotoGP season. This year's coverage has been expanded to include Saturday afternoon qualifying sessions alongside the existing race-day coverage.

Valencia GP from 7 November

Rugby League – Four Nations Forum

On Saturday 31 October, BBC One shows live coverage of England versus Australia in the Rugby League Four Nations tournament, which also involves France and New Zealand.

Immediately following the game, digital viewers can press Red for post-match analysis and debate.

BBC Red button coverage: 31 October

Championship Football

Football fans can watch live coverage of the Championship match between Cardiff and Nottingham Forest with a choice of commentary.

BBC Red button coverage: 1 November

Rugby Union – Scrum V

Live coverage of Wales versus Samoa can be found under the Red button

BBC Red button coverage: 13 November

Rugby Union – International

Live coverage of the international match between Ireland and Fiji can be found under the Red button. Scotland versus Australia can be seen live on BBC Two).

BBC Red button coverage: 21 November

*Sport Multiscreen is available on Sky, Virgin, Freeview and Freesat; however coverage may not always be available on Freeview due to bandwidth limitations.

The full Red button sport schedule is available here:

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