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Autumn scheduling plans on BBC Radio 3

Alan Davey

Controller, BBC Radio 3

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Today we’ve put out to tender a number of programmes for Radio 3 beginning in the Autumn. The eagle-eyed among you will see that these imply some changes to the overall shape of the schedule.

Some of the changes are brought on by opportunity and creative renewal - and some as a result of us having to play our part in finding the £800m of savings the BBC needs to make by 2021/22. In making changes we have tried to enhance the distinctive nature of the network, and to make sure we continue to offer a rich mix of music and culture to existing and future audiences. It’s what makes the network the great thing it is.

In every tweak I’ve made to the schedule since I’ve been controller, I have sought to provide clarity to the breadth of the genres and to celebrate the unique combination of things we do, making sure the brilliant parts of BBC Radio 3 work together to make sense of the whole. BBC Radio 3 is proud to connect audiences with the human achievements of music and culture of the past, the present, and the future. It remains the most distinctive cultural music radio station anywhere in the world.

From Monday to Wednesday in our After Dark zone we will establish a new classical music programme designed for late night listening. In addition to the new After Dark classical programme, Unclassified presented by Elizabeth Alker, will become a permanent strand Thursday evenings from 11.30pm-12.30am. The show explores a range of music that can be called neo classical and ambient but which remain rather hard to classify, as the name suggests. We’ve had a really positive response since we aired the initial short series and I’m delighted the programme will now have a more permanent home.

On Fridays, Late Junction, a programme that explores the experimental boundaries of music, will move to a single two hour programme in a key slot on Friday evening, to kick start BBC Radio 3’s weekend for listeners. It will run from 11pm-1am. Jazz will continue to be well represented through Jazz Record Requests, J to Z, and on BBC Sounds which will bring together the best of Jazz performances and programmes from across the BBC. We will be resting Jazz Now and Geoffrey Smith’s Jazz. Music Planet will move from its Friday evening slot in turn, to Saturday nights from midnight-1am. We will also be making use of our unique partnership with The European Broadcasting Union to expand the Sunday night In Concert programme by 30 minutes, bringing listeners more of the very best of European music-making.

These plans are designed to ensure we remain distinctive. BBC Radio 3 must always be a place to be stimulated by everything from core classical to ambient and neo-classical, world to jazz, sound art to electronica, not forgetting Slow Radio, as well as a breadth of arts content from dramas to topical arts, documentaries and poetry, a place to escape the frenzy of the everyday.

Come and dive into the world of Radio 3.

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