About Radio 4

Radio 4 is a station for anyone interested in intelligent speech. Its schedule is packed with the most insightful journalism, the wittiest comedy, the most fascinating features and the most compelling drama and readings anywhere in UK radio.

News and comment about Radio 4 can be found on the Radio 4 Blog.

BBC Broadcasting House is the home of Radio 4 and you can find out more about the building and even visit with BBC Tours.

This site contains archive material. To comment or bring something to our attention, please get in touch.

Radio 4 Long Wave

Radio 4 on Long Wave

** Disruption to Long Wave tranmissions from March 2014** 

The BBC's Droitwich transmitter will be subject to daily shutdowns on BBC Radio 4 LW, between 10:00-17:30, from Saturday 29 March until Summer 2014. There will also be periods of reduced power for BBC Radio 5 Live MW. This is to enable engineers to work safely, while refurbishing the long wave antenna, and the two masts which support it.

Find out more information here

Full details of the latest Shipping Forecast can be read here

 

Radio 4 is available on Long Wave. A number of programmes are broadcast only on Radio 4 Long Wave and are not available on demand through iPlayer, but you can listen again using the links below where the programmes are available in Windows Media and Flash.

 

Windows Media Player, is a free browser plug-in and piece of software that is used for playing videos and audio tracks. Find out here how to install the Windows Media Player plug-in.

 

If you are having issues with the Windows Media Player playing the file, please right click on the file and save it to your desktop. Then open your player and then drag and drop the file you saved onto the player window or use the player's File menu to open the file. For more help with Windows Media Player please see BBC Webwise Guides.

Here is the Radio 4 Long Wave Live Stream - Listen Now

 

Other Long Wave programmes that are available on demand

Act of Worship 

An act of worship and music. Friday,

09:45 on BBC Radio 4 (LW only) 

(15 min)

Listen to the latest Act of Worship

 

Daily Service 

Regular broadcast of Christian worship and music. 

09:45 on BBC Radio 4 (LW only) 

(15 min)

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

 

Yesterday in Parliament 

News, views and features on yesterday's stories in Parliament. 

08:30 on BBC Radio 4 (LW only) 

(30 min)

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

 

FAQ

FAQs About Radio 4 Programmes

How can I find a programme on the Radio 4 Website?

You can find a programme that has been broadcast or will be broadcast within seven days by clicking on the Programmes link at the top of every page on the site.

For programmes that are currently off-air, go to Programmes and set the filter to show "All".

If you know when a programme was broadcast, go to the Schedule link at the top of this page and browse by date and time.

Find long wave schedules here.

If you know the name of the programme, find it in the A-Z listing.

Find programmes by genres such as Comedy, Drama or News here.

Can you tell me more about a programme that has already been broadcast?

If you are looking for information about a programme that has already been broadcast, you may find the information you need on the programme webpage so please check before you write in. All queries will be passed on to the appropriate team who will respond where possible.

You can also write to our programmes using the following address:

Programme Name,

Radio 4,

BBC Broadcasting House,

London W1A 1AA

You can also ring BBC Information on 03700 100 400. (03700 calls cost no more than 01 and 02 geographic landline numbers and are included in discount packages for both fixed-line and mobile phones).

Can you tell me when a programme is going to be scheduled?

Details of schedules are often only confirmed a short time before broadcast and we. We suggest you check regularly in the schedules on the Radio 4 site, in the A-Z listings on the site or in programmes listings guides such as The Radio Times.

How can I find out the music used in a programme?

Unfortunately we are unable to supply the details of music extracts that have been included in radio programmes although some programmes include this information on their programme pages on the Radio 4 site. You can find these pages on the A-Z listings.

How do I get tickets for a recording of a Radio 4 Programme?

There are many opportunities to be an audience member at the recording of Radio 4 programmes, especially comedy shows. Visit the BBC tickets site for more details.

BBC Tickets site

How can I comment on Radio 4 Programmes?

Feedback (Friday 13:30-14:00; Sunday 20:00-20:30) is the BBC Network Radio listeners' letters programme, produced for Radio 4 by an independent production company, presented by Roger Bolton.

Feedback's content is entirely directed by the telephone calls, letters, emails and faxes it receives from listeners.

Feedback's programme page

The Radio 4 blog publishes regular features about Radio 4 and you can leave a comment on any of the posts.

The Radio 4 blog

If a direct contact option is not available, or to make a comment, complaint or enquiry about other BBC programmes or services, visit the BBC Information website.

You can also write to our programmes using the following address:

Programme Name,

Radio 4,

BBC Broadcasting House,

London W1A 1AA

To make a comment about other BBC programmes visit the BBC Information website.

This site contains archive material. To comment or bring something to our attention, please get in touch.

How can I get a CD or transcript of a programme?

We do not produce transcripts for most programmes. If a programme transcript is available (for example for programmes like In Touch), you can find a link to download the transcript on the programme's web page.

Some Radio 4 programmes are available to buy in CD or digital download formats. Where titles are available links to a number of online retailers will usually appear in the 'buyer's guide' section on the relevant programme's web site.

You can also try the National Sound Archive which has a wide collection of broadcast radio that may be available under the inter-library loan scheme.

Teachers are free to play radio programmes to classes - access programmes that are available to listen to on the schedule. The playing or performing of copyright works (including sound recordings) in the course of activities of educational establishments does not infringe copyright. However, the BBC's agreements with rights holders prevent us from authorising copies being made of radio programme streams for this purpose.

Otherwise, Radio 4 programmes are not available for re-broadcast, except by formal legal agreement, including payment of a fee.

Requests to licence the right to re-broadcast should be sent to BBC Radio International.

Why is the Daily Service on Long Wave Only?

Radio 4 recognises that a group of its listeners value a daily worship programme. In order to provide a daily service for those who wanted it, as well as offering an alternative for those who don't, it was decided to split the network with the Daily Service being broadcast on Long Wave.

Long Wave was chosen for two reasons as the home for the Daily Service: LW is the signal which everyone can receive wherever they are in the UK, and LW usage amongst Daily Service listeners is slightly higher than among other Radio 4 listeners.

Why do you disrupt Radio 4 LW for Cricket Coverage?

Radio frequencies are allocated by the Government and Radio 4 is uniquely privileged in having two frequencies - FM and Long Wave. We have to use these frequencies to provide the best service to the greatest number of listeners.

Our research tells us that about two million people tune in to each match. It was therefore decided by the BBC's Board of Governors that the best option was to utilise Radio 4's Long Wave, with all the mainstream programming on FM. Most Radio 4 listeners choose to use the FM frequency rather than Long Wave when it is available, so this seemed to be the best use of our resources. Also, FM carries stereo, which is not necessary for cricket, but is, for example, for dramas. We can only apologise to those listeners who do not receive FM.

How can I promote a charity on the Radio 4 Appeal?

Charities wishing to feature on the Radio 4 Appeal should contact the BBC Appeals unit on 020 8008 1106.

How do I apply to host Gardeners' Question Time or Any Questions?

Anyone wanting to host the programe should complete the application form on the Gardeners' Question Time website.

Be warned - the waiting list is anything from 2 years upwards.

To apply to host Any Questions, write to the programme at: Room 6103, Broadcasting House, London, W1A 1AA or visit the Any Questions hosting page.

What is the music played before the late Shipping Forecast?

The music before the late-night shipping forecast is called Sailing By. It was composed by Ronald Binge, who wrote much other light music, notably Elizabethan Serenade. He also arranged Charmaine for Mantovani's orchestra. He died in 1979.

Sailing By's function on the network is to fill any airtime between the end of the late reading, at approximately 12.45am, and the shipping forecast at 12.48am, which mariners rightly expect us to transmit precisely on schedule. Very rarely, Sailing By might not be played at all because of time constraints. The version of Sailing By we use is not available commercially but you will find similar versions of the tune on CDs which feature the music of Ronald Binge.

Can I still listen to or download A History of the World in 100 Objects?

All the A History of the World in 100 Objects programmes will remain available to listen to or download. You can listen to the programmes on the object pages.

Or on the Programmes page - select the week's theme to find the programmes

Or download the programmes on the object pages, at this link or from iTunes.

Is there a book or a CD of A History of the World in 100 Objects?

There is a book to accompany the series, written by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum. This was published in October 2010 by Allen Lane and is available from most book retailers. ISBN - 978-1-846-14413-4.

How can I comment about an object in a History of the World in 100 Objects?

Please contact the British Museum directly with any queries concerning their objects on the A History of the World website.

How can I submit an idea for a programme or some music?

Generally, if it is an idea for an existing programme (such as Woman's Hour) you can email or write to the programme. If it is an idea for a new programme (e.g. comedy or drama), you can consult the BBC Commissioning Guidelines.

If you would like to submit some music you can visit the BBC Introducing web site.

How long do recordings stay on the website?

Most programmes are available for seven days after broadcast. Many of these remain on the website for much longer. Find Radio 4 programmes by visiting the schedule. To listen to a few of our archive broadcasts you may be prompted to download Realplayer, which is free of charge. BBC Webwise has more information about Realplayer.

Can I download Radio 4 programmes to my ipod or mp3 player?

Many Radio 4 programmes are available as mp3 downloads, also known as podcasts. These are files which you can download onto your computer or mp3 player to keep and listen to at any time. You can find a list of Radio 4 downloads currently available on the BBC's podcast site. For more information about podcasts see podcasting help.

How can I find a programme on the Radio 4 website?

You can find a programme that has been broadcast or will be broadcast within seven days by clicking on the Programmes link at the top of every page on the site.

For programmes that are currently off-air, go to Programmes and set the filter to show "All".

If you know when a programme was broadcast, but don't know what it was called, go to the Schedule link at the top of this page and browse by date and time.

Why do I have to wait for programmes to appear online?

The system for making programmes available to 'listen again' online is automated. This automated system allows us to make all of our programmes available but there is a short period after broadcast, while the audio is encoded, before the programme appears online.

Programmes are normally available approximately 30 minutes after the end of transmission but occasionally it can take longer.

What is Radioplayer?

Radioplayer is a partnership between the BBC and UK Commercial Radio. Together we've developed a player that gives audiences a simple and consistent online listening experience. Radioplayer allows you to discover and listen to live and on demand radio from Ofcom licensed UK radio stations.

The Radioplayer console will pop up to play audio when you click to listen live or play listen again content on BBC Radio websites. It's similar in appearance to the previous BBC console with some new features including the ability to search for live and on demand radio from stations across the UK.

Find more information about Radioplayer here.

Where can I get Flash Player?

Macromedia Flash allows you to watch and listen to audio, video and interactive content on the Internet. BBC Webwise has more information about Flash player, including instruction on how to download a free Flash player plug-in

How to Listen

Listening to Radio 4

For information on the new iPlayer Radio launch and an opportunity to give feedback visit the iPlayer Radio Welcome page.

In the UK you can listen to Radio 4 in many ways: on a digital (DAB) or FM radio; on digital television; online through a computer; on a mobile phone; on an MP3 player.

Radio 4 can be found on the following channels, frequencies and websites:

  • DAB Listed as "BBC Radio 4", "BBC R4", or "Radio 4"
  • FM 92 - 95 FM, 103-105 FM
  • LW 198 Long Wave
  • MW Medium Wave is only available in some locations: London 720; Plymouth 774; Hayle (Cornwall) 756; Newcastle 603; Carlisle 1495; Aberdeen 1449; Enniskillen 774; Derry 720; Glasgow 720
  • Freeview Channel 704 (FM schedule only - the LW schedule is not broadcast on Freeview) (more info)
  • Freesat Channel 704 (FM schedule) and 710 (LW schedule)
  • SkyTV Channel 0104 (FM schedule) and 0143 (LW schedule)
  • Virgin Channel 904 (FM schedule) and 911 (LW schedule)

How can I listen online?

Listen live, and listen to programmes broadcast in the past seven days at Radio 4's website.

Listen live online, and listen to programmes broadcast in the past seven days at Radio 4's website (listen live by accessing the link in the top banner; catch up on a past programme by finding a programme in the schedule) or in the A-Z listing.

Long Wave disruption from March 2014

The BBC's Droitwich transmitter will be subject to daily shutdowns on BBC Radio 4 LW, between 10:00-17:30, from Saturday 29 March until Summer 2014. There will also be periods of reduced power for BBC Radio 5 Live MW. This is to enable engineers to work safely, while refurbishing the long wave antenna, and the two masts which support it.

Find further information about help with reception during the Droitwich planned work

LW listen live is available here:

Long wave Listen Live

Long Wave programmes are not available to listen again on iPlayer Radio.

You may have noticed the appearance of the console that pops up when you click a 'listen' link has changed. This is because Radioplayer has launched. Radioplayer is a partnership between the BBC and UK Commercial Radio. Together we've developed a player that gives audiences a simple and consistent online listening experience. Radioplayer allows you to discover and listen to live and on demand radio from Ofcom licensed UK radio stations.

The Radioplayer console will pop up to play audio when you click to listen live or play listen again content on BBC Radio websites. It's similar in appearance to the previous BBC console with some new features including the ability to search for live and on demand radio from stations across the UK.

Find more information about Radioplayer here.

How can I listen on the move?

Mobile Phones

 

If your mobile phone has an FM receiver, you can listen to Radio 4 on 92-95FM. If it has an MP3 player you can listen to podcasts of Radio 4 programmes (more info about podcasts).

MP3 Players (iPods and other manufacturers)

 

Many Radio 4 programmes are available as podcasts or downloads, which you can listen to on any MP3 player (more info about podcasts). Downloads can be kept on your computer to listen to whenever you like.

Radio 4 podcasts can be found here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/podcasts/

For technical questions about Listening online please see the iPlayer help pages.

Please note: Streaming radio is a data intensive service. Whilst the BBC does not charge for its mobile content, your operator's charges for using the internet over 3G may apply. Connecting via WiFi is recommended where possible.

Listen Live and Listen Again on the Internet

With BBC Radio Player you can:

  • Listen live to BBC radio programmes as they are broadcast
  • Listen again to BBC radio programmes for up to seven days after broadcast

To use Radio Player, go to the Radio Player homepage http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/radio or to any BBC radio station website.

For help with installing the iPlayer Download Manager, or any other queries about iPlayer, go to iPlayer Help.

Why can't I listen to a programme as soon as it finishes?

Once a programme has finished broadcasting, there can be a few hours' delay before the programme is available to listen to online.

Why isn't the programme I want to listen to isn't available

You can listen to Radio 4 programmes on programme pages on the Radio 4 website. Find links to the programme pages via the Programmes or Schedule link at the top of the page.

How long do programmes stay available to listen to online?

Most programmes are available to listen to on demand for seven days after broadcast. Many of these remain available for much longer.

Every programme that is made available on iPlayer Radio service has a default rights period or "length of availability" associated with it of seven days.

Rights agreements mean that programmes that contain performances by actors, comedy performances, sport commentary, readings, live music performances or music that is commercially available aren't usually offered on demand for longer than seven days.

Where rights and permissions have been agreed programmes can be made available on demand in perpetuity and a full list of programmes are available on the Programmes A-Z.

(To listen to a few of our archive broadcasts you may be prompted to download Realplayer, which is free of charge. BBC Webwise has more information about Realplayer.)

If the audio is not available, it may be for the following reasons: programmes can take up to a few hours to be available to listen to; many programmes, such as drama or comedy are only available, for rights reasons, for 7 days after broadcast. Sometimes audio is unavailable due to high demand causing network congestion. In this case if you try again later you will often find that the programme is available.

If a download, or podcast, is available for a programme, you can save this to your computer or mp3 player and keep forever, to listen to whenever and wherever you like.

I'm having problems listening to a Radio 4 programme on my computer

You can listen to Radio 4 programmes on programme pages on the Radio 4 website. Find links to the programme pages via the Programmes or Schedule link at the top of the page.

The BBC does not control the technology that runs the internet. We cannot help with problems relating to audio, browsers, interruptions to audio streams etc.

If a download, or podcast, is available for a programme, you can save this to your computer or mp3 player and keep forever, to listen to whenever and wherever you like.

What is a podcast and how can I podcast, or download, a Radio 4 programme?

A number of Radio 4 programmes are available to download. A download or podcast is an audio file that you can save to your computer or mp3 player. Many mobile phones also have this functionality. You can keep any programme you download on your device, to play whenever you like. You can keep these programmes permanently.

You can use iTunes or any other podcast software to manage your podcasts, or simply download individual programmes directly from the Radio 4 Website. Find details of how to download on the Radio 4 Podcasts page.

Can I listen from outside the UK?

You can listen to Radio 4 online anywhere in the world however there are some types of content where we are restricted from distributing overseas, usually because of sports rights. If this is the case then the live and on demand stream will be blocked to international audiences for the duration of that segment. International audiences will hear a message informing them of the rights restrictions in place.

You won't be able to pick up BBC stations broadcasting on FM, MW and DAB very far from UK shores. They are funded by the UK licence fee and the BBC is not permitted to re-broadcast them from other countries.

However, in some areas close to the UK (such as Ireland, France, Denmark, Belgium and Holland) it is possible to receive Radio 4 on 198 kHz long wave.

For more information please see the BBC Reception website.

I'm having problems with my Radio Reception, can you help?

Visit the BBC's Reception website for comprehensive information on both radio and TV reception. Persistent problems are likely to need help from an aerial specialist.

BBC Reception website

Contact

How to Contact Radio 4

You may find the information you need on the programme webpage or a Contact Us link, so please check before you write in. If you have written in requesting information about a programme, we will forward your query on to the appropriate team who will respond where possible.

If a direct contact option is not available, or to make a comment, complaint or enquiry about other BBC programmes or services, visit the Contact the BBC.

You can also write to our programmes using the following address:

Programme Name

Radio 4,

BBC Broadcasting House,

London W1A 1AA

 

Facebook

Join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BBCRadio4

Twitter

Tweet us at @bbcradio4 on the Official BBC Radio 4 Twitter profile

You can get in touch with some programmes (eg Call You and Yours) on our text number on 84844. Texts will not be included in your inclusive text bundles, and the exact cost of each message depends on your service provider - it is typically between 10 and 15 pence per message. MMS (Picture) messages may cost more - you should check with your service provider for exact details. Please make sure you take care when entering our number as some subscription services have similar numbers to ours.

Complaints

The BBC has a system for dealing with complaints from our audience. All complaints about the BBC, our programmes and services should be sent via our Complaints Site.

Enquiries and Feedback

Due to the large amount of correspondence we receive, it is not always possible for us to reply to emails individually. Please read our How To Listen section and FAQs before contacting us where we give answers to the most common questions we receive.

You can send any further enquiries or feedback by emailing via the website: radio4.webteam@bbc.co.uk

If the answer to your query is already covered in the How to Listen or FAQs secions we are unable to reply to your email.

Your Privacy

The BBC and any service provider we engage will use the information you supply to respond to your queries/comments, to develop and enhance our services and for statistical analysis of audiences and users. For full details of our policy regarding the personal information we collect about you visit our private policy page.