BBC Radio 5 live

A raft of new commissions and a nationwide hunt for the UK’s best young commentator

BBC Radio 5 live announces raft of new commissions and a nationwide hunt for the UK’s best young commentator

From doctors in the NHS to first time buyers, and from care homes to the Eurotunnel, BBC Radio 5 live promises our most ambitious year of news and current affairs.Jonathan Wall, Controller, BBC Radio 5 live
Date: 09.02.2016     Last updated: 09.02.2016 at 15.06

BBC Radio 5 live has announced a series of new commissions and a major new competition to find the country’s best young commentator.

The news and sports radio station has revealed its plans for spring 2016 which include programmes fronted by Gabby Logan, Rob Rinder and the BBC’s arts editor Will Gompertz.

BBC Radio 5 live is the home of breaking news and the best live sport and these commissions are designed to complement the station’s existing daily schedule.

The new commissions are:

  • A series looking at fertility hosted by BBC Radio 5 live presenter Anna Foster. It will focus on pregnancy and birth, with Anna, who is a mother of two, reflecting on her own experience of starting a family.
  • A 'real time' broadcast of a post-mortem. The station will broadcast from an examination room, exploring the importance of carrying out autopsies and how they have led to advances in medical science.
  • A spin-off of business programme Wake Up To Money looking into the business of sport, fronted by Adam Parsons, who will investigate where the money in sport comes from and how it is spent.
  • A series of audio diaries recorded by junior doctors working in the NHS, giving a unique insight into their working lives.
  • A new series of Raising The Bar, the programme that lifts the lid on the legal world, presented by Rob Rinder, who features on the popular ITV show Judge Rinder.
  • A series looking at the state of the arts across the country presented by BBC arts editor Will Gompertz.
  • A new series of All About Property, radio’s only programme about buying and selling houses, hosted by Gabby Logan.

Jonathan Wall (pictured above), Controller of BBC Radio 5 live, says: “Telling stories and hearing from people across the UK is at the heart of our schedule at BBC Radio 5 live. Our ambition is to tell more stories from more people and places than any other station in the country.

“From doctors in the NHS to first-time buyers, and from care homes to the Eurotunnel, BBC Radio 5 live promises our most ambitious year of news and current affairs, alongside the Euros, the Olympics and the Paralympics.”

BBC Radio 5 live will also launch a nationwide search for the Young Sports Commentator of the Year.

Young people between 11 and 15 will be able to win the chance to shadow a BBC Radio 5 live commentator, have a go at describing a sporting event themselves and have their commentary feature on BBC Radio 5 live.

Jonathan Wall was the runner-up the last time the BBC ran a similar national competition in the 1980s.

He says: “I entered a similar competition when I was much younger and it proved to be the start of my career, even though I was ultimately pipped at the post for the prize!

“I’m delighted to bring the competition back and encourage all budding sports broadcasters to get involved.

“BBC Radio 5 live is home of the UK’s finest sports commentators and through Young Sports Commentator Of The Year we hope to inspire the next generation. Maybe we’ll uncover the next Alan Green, Jonathan Agnew or Jacqui Oatley. And who knows where the person who comes second may end up.”

As well as the new commissions and the commentary competition, BBC Radio 5 live will continue to bring listeners the latest breaking news and the best analysis of current affairs.

Other highlights in February include:

  • Stephen Nolan broadcasting live from Heathrow Airport where he’ll be given exclusive access inside the ‘secret’ train station underneath Terminal Five.
  • Reporter Lesley Ashmall spending a night in the Eurotunnel with the security team dealing with the effects of the migrant crisis.
  • Adrian Chiles broadcasting live from a care home and revealing exclusive new figures that show the extent of the pressure on the care sector.
  • Entertainment reporter Colin Paterson hosting a special preview programme ahead of the Oscars.
  • Acclaimed actor David Morrissey joining Daily Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin to stand in for Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode on their weekly film review show.
  • Olympian Karen Pickering presenting a documentary called Let Us Play looking at the world of children’s sport and the pressure some kids are put under by their parents.

In addition, BBC Radio 5 live’s chief political correspondent John Pienaar will launch a new podcast with the latest news and insight from Westminster ahead of the May elections and potential EU referendum.

This new podcast will build on BBC Radio 5 live’s continuing digital success. 5 live ‘In Short’ had a record four million clip plays in one month during October 2015. The website had 1.5 million unique browsers in December 2015 - the highest of any BBC radio station.

Meanwhile, planning is well underway for BBC Radio 5 live’s coverage of the year’s major sporting events.

In the summer, the station will bring its listeners the best action from the European Football Championships, featuring England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Rio Olympics and the Paralympics.