BBC Radio 2

Radio 2 is one of the BBC's national radio stations and is the most popular station in the UK. It broadcasts throughout the UK on FM radio between 88 and 91 MHz from its studios in Broadcasting House. Programmes are also relayed on DAB, Sky Television, Cable TV, Freeview and the Internet.

The station started at 7.00am on September 30, 1967, and succeeded the Light Programme, with some of the Light's music shows transferring to the newly-launched Radio 1. The first show however had actually started at 5.30am (on the Light programme) but continued on with Breakfast Special from Paul Hollingdale as Radio 1 split off. Until the mid-1990s it was mainly known for playing middle of the road music, but under controller James Moir, more contemporary records were added to the playlist and the old easy listening style was phased out. Today Radio 2 is the most listened to radio station in the UK, with its schedule filled with top name celebrity presenters like Terry Wogan, Steve Wright, Johnnie Walker, Bob Harris, Richard Allinson, Jonathan Ross OBE, Mark Lamarr and Michael Parkinson. It has a demographic of adult listeners and tends to play music from the 1980s and 1990s as well as contemporary chart and indie music. Perhaps the main reason of Radio 2ís popularity in recent years is due to the desertion of former Radio 1 listeners when that station reverted to the youth audience in the late 90s.

On Sundays it reverts for much of the day to something decidedly closer to its old style, with presenters like Richard Baker and David Jacobs and long-standing programmes like "Sunday Half Hour" and "Your Hundred Best Tunes".

Whilst being adult orientated, it does not broadcast complete works of classical music, the domain of Radio 3, or offer in depth discussion, or drama, the job of Radio 4. It does however carry some half-hour comedy showsas well as many musical documentaries and celebrity interviews and, up until the advent of Radio Five Live, was the BBC's main radio outlet for sports coverage (before becoming Five Live, Radio 5 was originally created by splitting off Radio 2's mediumwave frequencies, leaving Radio 2 on FM only). There is usually a mix of music and discussion of topical issues in the weekday lunchtime show. This slot was the preserve of Jimmy Young for many years but has now been taken over by Jeremy Vine.

Being a BBC station, it is funded by the television licence fee, and does not broadcast commercials.

BBC Radio 2's last closedown was at 0202 GMT on 27 January, 1979. Sarah Kennedy (who, following the fading of her 1980s television career, has been a daily early morning presenter on Radio 2 since 1993) was at the Newsdesk after Brian Newman finished the "Round Midnight" programme. From 0200-0500 GMT the following night onwards, late night listeners could listen to "You and the Night and the Music". Radio 2 has therefore had the longest period of continuous broadcasting of any national radio station in the UK - more than twenty-five years to date.

On this station, the BBC Pips are only broadcast at 6:00 transposed over the Radio 2 news jingle. However, they are also played at 8:00 on weekdays between gaps in Terry Wogan's self-styled banter. When Jonathan Ross sat in for Wogan in 2004, he failed to cut his own banter and consequently spoke over the pips.

Current roster

Regular schedule as of January 2005:

Monday to Friday
00:00 Janice Long
03.00 Alex Lester: The Best Time Of The Day
06.00 Sarah Kennedy: The Dawn Patrol
07.30 Terry Wogan: Wake Up To Wogan (or Wake Up In Wigan!)
09:30 Ken Bruce
12:00 Jeremy Vine
14:00 Steve Wright Steve Wright in the Afternoon (The Big Show)
17:00 Johnnie Walker Drive Time
19:00 See below
22:30 Mark Radcliffe (except Friday)

Monday evening
19:00 Simon Mayo: The Album Chart Show
20:00 Humphrey Lyttelton
21:00 Specialist shows
22:00 Big Band Special

Tuesday evening
19:00 Desmond Carrington The Music Goes Round
20:00 Nigel Ogden: The Organist Entertains
20:30 Specialist shows
21:30 Documentary
22:00 Steve Harley: Sounds of the 70's

Wednesday evening
19:00 Nick Barraclough
20:00 Mike Harding Folk Music
21:00 Specialist shows
22:00 Documentary

Thursday evening
19:00 Bob Harris Country
20:00 Paul Jones Blues
21:00 Specialist shows
22:00 Comedy Show

Friday evening
19:00 Specialist shows
19:30 Friday Night is Music Night
21:15 Book Sequence
21:30 Listen to the Band
22:00 Mariella Frostrup: The Green Room

00:00 Bob Harris
03:00 Janey Lee Grace
06:00 Mo Dutta
08:00 Brian Matthew: Sounds of the 60s
10:00 Jonathan Ross
13:00 Comedy Hour
14:00 Dermot O'Leary: Saturday Club
16:00 Richard Allinson
18:00 Paul Gambaccini: America's Greatest Hits
19:30 Mark Lamarr: Alternative 60s
20:30 Stuart Maconie: The Critical List
21:30 Features (often concert recordings presented by Richard Allinson)
22:30 Bob Harris

00:00 Helen Mayhew
04:00 Mo Dutta
07:00 Don Mclean: Good Morning Sunday
09:00 Steve Wright's Love Songs
11:00 Michael Parkinson
13:00 Elaine Paige
14:30 Russell Davies
15:30 Lulu
17:00 Ed Stewart
19:00 Sheridan Morley
20:30 Roger Royle: Sunday Half Hour
21:00 Richard Baker: Your Hundred Best Tunes
22:00 Malcolm Laycock
23:00 David Jacobs

See also: List of BBC radio stations


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