BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station which broadcasts a wide variety of chiefly spoken-word programmes including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It is broadcast on 92 - 95 MHz FM and 198 kHz longwave; and via DAB, satellite, Freeview channel 74 and the Internet.

Radio 4 is the second most popular British domestic radio station after Radio 2, and was awarded "UK Radio Station of the Year" at the 2004 Sony Radio Academy Awards ( for the second year running. Music and sport are the only two fields that generally fall outside the station's remit. There are occasional concerts, nevertheless, and ball-by-ball commentaries of most test matches played by the England cricket team are broadcast on long wave only. Because the long-wave service can be received clearly at sea in the vicinity of the British Isles, Radio 4 also carries regular weather forecasts for shipping and, when necessary, gale warnings.



Radio 4 came into existence on 30 September 1967, when the BBC re-launched all of its domestic radio stations under new names. It had previously been known (following the fusion in late 1939 of the pre-war National and Regional Programmes) as the BBC Home Service, in distinction from the General Overseas Service of the BBC (now the BBC World Service); these stations were known familiarly as 'Home' and 'Away'.

Programming & schedules

The Radio 4 Website Schedule Page ( shows the running order for the current day. Radio 4 splits from the World Service at 0529, with a brief introduction from the early shift continuity announcer, before the 5-minute "UK Theme". This is followed at 0535 by the shipping forecast, weather reports from coastal stations for 0400GMT and inshore waters forecasts. On weekdays, the Today Programme runs from 0600 to 0900. On, or after the hour, with few exceptions, a news bulletin is broadcast - this is sometimes a 2-minute summary, a longer piece as part of a current affairs programme, or at 6pm or midnight a 30-minute broadcast (15-minute weekends). At 1200, FM has a 4-minute bulletin whilst Longwave has the headlines and then the Shipping Forecast; for the same reason, longwave leaves the PM Programme on weekdays at 1754. Programmes continue late into the night, with the Midnight News at 0000, followed by (on weekdays) a repeat of Book of the Week, after which there is the Late Shipping Forecast. This brings to the end the day on Radio 4 with the National anthem being played, then the World Service taking over the airwaves until 0529.

Current programmes

The overwhelming majority of programmes are now available on demand from Radio 4's Listen Again ( page, although RealNetworks' RealPlayer is required (The BBC had negotiated to ensure this will always be freely available to UK listeners by following links from the BBC website).

The BBC Radio 4 website ( groups programmes into various genres:

News and current affairs

Arts and drama

Religion and ethics

Comedy and quizzes

Serious quizzes
Panel games
Sketch shows
Comedy dramas




Former programmes

Many shows from the Radio 4 archives can now be heard on BBC 7.

Radio 4 Announcers & Newsreaders

Former staff include:

See also

External links


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