Produced and presented for an audience of just 43 - the brave and hardy scientists and technical staff who keep the Antarctic bases of the British Antarctic Survey running through the long, cold darkness of the polar winter - the Antarctic specials are possibly the World Service's most unusual broadcasts.
Once a year, on 21 June, in the dark days of the southern winter, staff at the four Antarctic bases - Rothera, Halley, King Edward Point and Bird Island - cluster round their short-wave radios to hear the BBC present half an hour of music requests and special messages from their loved ones back home.
There's special messages from surprise celebrity guests, and a selection of music that reveals a deep longing for sunshine.
This year the broadcast is presented by Martin Redfern, who was fortunate to spend a month in Antarctica three years ago, reporting on research and visiting field sites and the Rothera base.
As a result says Martin, "We feel we are talking to friends, we can imagine the scene down there and although we were only there for a few weeks in Summer, we know how food fantasies turn to salad and fresh fruit."
For more details about the work of the British Antarctic Survey visit their click .
First broadcast on 21 June 2011
Produced by Esme Richardson
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