|Broadcast area||United Kingdom|
|Slogan||The best in comedy, drama and entertainment|
|BBC Radio 4|
First air date
|BBC 7 (2002–2008)|
BBC Radio 7 (2008–2011)
BBC Radio 4 Extra is a British digital radio station from the BBC, broadcasting archived repeats of comedy, drama and documentary programmes nationally, 24 hours a day. It is the principal broadcaster of the BBC's spoken-word archive, and as a result the majority of its programming originates from that archive. It also broadcasts extended and companion programmes to those broadcast on sister station BBC Radio 4, and provides a "catch-up" service for certain Radio 4 programmes.
The station launched in December 2002 as BBC 7, broadcasting a mix of archive comedy, drama and current children's radio. The station was renamed BBC Radio 7 in 2008, then relaunched as Radio 4 Extra in April 2011. For the first quarter of 2013, Radio 4 Extra had a weekly audience of 1.642 million people and had a market share of 0.95%; in the last quarter of 2016 the numbers were 2.184 million listeners and 1.2% of market share.
The station was initially launched as BBC 7 on 15 December 2002 by comedian Paul Merton. The first programme was broadcast at 8 pm and was simulcast with Radio 4. The station, referred to by the codename 'Network Z' while in development, was so named to reflect the station's presence on the internet and on digital television in addition to radio. The station broadcast mostly archived comedy and drama, in that the programme was either three or more years old or had been broadcast twice on their original station.
The station also broadcast a themed section for Children's programmes. This section carried a variety of programmes, including The Little Toe Radio Show (later renamed CBeebies Radio ), aimed at younger children and consisting of short serials, stories and rhymes, and The Big Toe Radio Show with phone-ins, quizzes and stories for the 8+ age group. The segment also hosted the only news programme on the network presented by the Newsround team.
The station won the Sony Radio Academy Award for station sound in 2003,was nominated for the Promo Award in 2004, and in 2005 received a silver for the Short-Form award, plus nominations in the speech and digital terrestrial station-of-the-year sections. Because of the station's archive nature the station was scheduled, produced and researched by 17 people, excluding presenters.
The station was renamed on 4 October 2008 as BBC Radio 7 in an effort to bring it in line with other BBC Radio brands.It also coincided with the introduction of a new network logo for the station.
Gwyneth Williams, controller of Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra
During this later period, Radio 7 saw growth in its audience, with a growth rate of 9.5% annually in 2010, going from 931,000 listeners in the first quarter of that yearto 949,000 a quarter later, making it the second most listened to BBC digital radio station at the time. However, despite this growth, the audience of children between 4 and 14 was reported to be only at 25,000 and in February 2011 the BBC Trust approved a reduction in hours dedicated to children from 1,400 to 350.
The BBC announced their intention to relaunch the station on 2 March 2010and following a public consultation, the proposal was approved by the corporation's governing body the BBC Trust in February 2011. As a result, the station relaunched as BBC Radio 4 Extra on Saturday 2 April 2011. The relaunched station contained much of the same mix of programming with some new additions that reflected the new alignment with Radio 4, many of which were extended, archive or spin offs of flagship Radio 4 programmes.
BBC Radio 4 Extra is broadcast from Broadcasting House in central London, although due to the nature of the channel very little of the channel's content is broadcast live from there with even the continuity announcements being pre-recorded. The channel uses ten continuity announcers to link between programmes. Notable announcers include Wes Butters, Kathy Clugston, Jim Lee, David Miles, Susan Rae, Alan Smith and Zeb Soanes.Previous presenters, including those presenting Radio 7, include Penny Haslam, Helen Aitken, Rory Morrison, Steve Urquhart, Alex Riley and Michaela Saunders.
The station is broadcast nationally on digital radio –via the BBC National DAB multiplex –and online via BBC Sounds and other services such as Radioplayer. It is also available on a number of digital television platforms; Freeview, Virgin Media, Freesat and Sky.
The controller of the station is Gwyneth Williams who is answerable to the Radio board in the BBC. kbps.BBC Radio 4 Extra is broadcast in stereo on television and online, although many of the older archive programmes were only recorded in mono. On DAB, all programmes are broadcast in mono, as the maximum bit rate is only 80
Although the current station is a rebranding of Radio 7 and contains a similar mix of archived programming, content has been brought further in line with BBC Radio 4 with new additions based upon their schedule. These include extended versions of programmes such as The News Quiz and Desert Island Discs , the broadcast of archived editions of the latter as Desert Island Discs Revisited. It has also previously included the addition of the programme Ambridge Extra , a more youth-orientated version of long-running radio soap The Archers ,and an extended version of The Now Show .
Some programming is organised into programme blocks of similar programmes. The late night Comedy Club segment broadcasts "two hours of contemporary comedy" most nights of the week and is primarily hosted by Arthur Smith. A long-standing segment that remained following the change from Radio 7, it was previously fronted by Alex Riley and Phil Williams. Comedy previously available as CDs on the Laughing Stock label is also broadcast.
Drama is also broadcast, notably in The 7th Dimension segment. A long-running segment continued from Radio 7, the block airs speculative fiction, science fiction, fantasy and horror stories presented by Nicholas Briggs. The segment contains programmes including Doctor Who audio dramas starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, as well as programmes imported from overseas including American broadcasts The Twilight Zone and Garrison Keillor's Radio Show as well as Stuart McLean's Vinyl Cafe from Canada. The 7th Dimension was originally broadcast daily, but has now been reduced to weekends-only. With increasing repeats of old Radio 4 documentaries, interviews and "educational/cultural" programmes, some listeners are concerned that the station's original mandate to provide comedy, drama and entertainment is being increasingly sidelined.[ citation needed ]
Much of the channels schedule is formed of repeats from classic comedy and drama. The schedule spans The Goon Show (1950s) and Round the Horne (1960s), through Radio 2 favourites like The News Huddlines , Castle's On The Air and Listen to Les to recent Radio 4 shows such as Little Britain and Dead Ringers . Some of this content is newly discovered, such as copies of the version of Dick Barton Special Agent that were made for international distribution and early episodes of The Goon Show.
Despite having 50 years of archive material to draw from, Radio 4 Extra's programming schedule, in the vast majority, consists of repeating the same content across a two year cycle.[ citation needed ]
The station has broadcast original programmes. Newsjack is a topical news sketch show which encourages contributions from listeners. Spanking New on Seven was stand-up comedy, and the BBC New Comedy Competition a competition for new comedians. Those who went on to have their own series on Radio 7 include John-Luke Roberts with Spats and Miriam Elia with A Series of Psychotic Episodes .
The Mitch Benn Music Show featured comedy songs introduced by Mitch Benn. The Colin and Fergus' Digi Radio comedy sketch show ran for two series in 2005–2006. Serious About Comedy was a weekly show presented by Robin Ince in which comedians and comedy critics discussed comedy television, radio, DVDs, and films. Tilt was a satirical look at the week's news of views other than the norm. Knocker was a sitcom about a market researcher, written by and starring Neil Edmond.
While most shows on Radio 7 were repeats, original programmes included:
Original programmes made for Radio 4 Extra.
Radio drama is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story: "It is auditory in the physical dimension but equally powerful as a visual force in the psychological dimension." Radio drama includes plays specifically written for radio, docudrama, dramatized works of fiction, as well as plays originally written for the theatre, including musical theatre, and opera.
BBC Radio 4 is a British national radio station owned and operated by the BBC. It broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes including news, drama, comedy, science and history from the BBC's headquarters at Broadcasting House, London. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is Mohit Bakaya.
BBC Radio is an operational business division and service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The service provides national radio stations covering the majority of musical genres, as well as local radio stations covering local news, affairs and interests. It also oversees online audio content.
BBC Radio 6 Music is a British digital radio station run by the BBC, specialising primarily in alternative music. It was known officially as BBC 6 Music from its launch on 11 March 2002 until April 2011. 6 Music was the first national music radio station to be launched by the BBC in 32 years. It is available only on digital media: DAB radio, the Internet, digital television, and in northern Europe through the Astra 2B satellite.
BBC Radio 3 is a British national radio station owned and operated by the BBC. Its output centres on classical music and opera, but jazz, world music, drama, culture and the arts also feature. The station describes itself as 'the world's most significant commissioner of new music', and through its New Generation Artists scheme promotes young musicians of all nationalities. The station broadcasts the BBC Proms concerts, live and in full, each summer in addition to performances by the BBC Orchestras and Singers. There are regular productions of both classic plays and newly commissioned drama.
BBC Radio Norfolk is the BBC's local radio station serving the county of Norfolk.
BBC Radio Berkshire is the BBC's local radio station serving the county of Berkshire.
BBC Radio Nottinghamshire is the BBC's local radio station serving the county of Nottinghamshire.
BBC Radio London is the BBC's local radio station serving Greater London and its surrounding areas. The station broadcasts across the area and beyond, on the 94.9 FM frequency, DAB, Virgin Media channel 937, Sky channel 0152, Freeview channel 721 and online.
BBC Radio Bristol is the BBC's local radio station serving Bristol, Bath and North & North East Somerset.
BBC Radio Stoke is the BBC's local radio station serving Staffordshire and South Cheshire.
BBC Asian Network is a British Asian radio station owned and operated by the BBC. The station's target audience is people "with an interest in British Asian lifestyles", especially British Asians between the ages of 18 and 34. The station has production centres in London and Birmingham.
Richard Paul Bacon is an English television and radio presenter. He was a host of the children's show Blue Peter—his first high-profile media role. He has since worked as a reporter or presenter on numerous television shows, including The Big Breakfast, and on ITV's Good Morning Britain as a stand-in presenter, and on radio stations including Capital FM, Xfm London and BBC Radio Five Live. In 2016, Bacon became the presenter of The National Geographic Channel's reboot of its documentary/panel discussion TV series, Explorer.
BBC Radio Cymru is a Welsh language national radio network operated by BBC Cymru Wales, a division of the BBC. It broadcasts on two stations across Wales on FM, DAB, digital TV and online.
Paterson D. Joseph is a British actor. He appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of King Lear and Love's Labour's Lost in 1990. On television he is known for his roles in Casualty (1997–1998), as Alan Johnson in Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show (2003–2015), Green Wing (2004–2006), Survivors (2008–2010), Boy Meets Girl (2009), as DI Wes Layton in Law & Order: UK (2013–2014), as Holy Wayne in The Leftovers (2014-15), as DCI Mark Maxwell in Safe House (2015–2017), and as Connor Mason in Timeless (2016–2018). His film roles include The Beach (2000), Greenfingers (2001), Æon Flux (2005) and The Other Man (2008). He is also known for his various performances of the Marquis de Carabas in adaptations of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere (1996). He also has a recurring role in The Mosquito Coast, an Apple TV+ original series which began streaming on April 30, 2021.
Newsjack is a British satirical sketch show broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra. It is currently hosted by Kiri Pritchard-McLean and previously by Miles Jupp, Justin Edwards, Romesh Ranganathan (2014), Nish Kumar (2015-2016) and Angela Barnes (2017-2018). It was first broadcast on 4 June 2009. The series is notable for having an "Open door" policy on writing, advertising itself as "the scrapbook sketch show written entirely by the Great British public" meaning that unsolicited writers without contract to the BBC can send in material. The show is designed to give new writers an opportunity to get material broadcast. It is hoped by the people behind the show that it may become a modern version of Week Ending, an earlier sketch show which also accepted material the same way. It is recorded in front of a live audience at the BBC Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House.
This is a list of events in British radio during 2009.
This is a list of events in British radio during 2015.
A timeline of notable events relating to BBC Radio 4, a British national radio station which began broadcasting in September 1967.
A timeline of notable events relating to BBC Radio 5 Live, and its predecessor BBC Radio 5.