The Food Programme

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The Food Programme
GenreDocumentary-style narration
Running time30 mins (Sundays at 12.30)
Country of originUK
Home stationRadio 4
Hosted bySheila Dillon
Produced byDan Saladino
Original release30 September 1979 – present
WebsiteThe Food Programme

The Food Programme is a BBC Radio 4 programme investigating and celebrating good food, founded by Derek Cooper and currently presented by Sheila Dillon. Dillon is the normal presenter of the programme, but the programme is, on occasion, presented by a different presenter – for example, the programme presented on 27 May 2012, which was about breakfast, was presented by Tim Hayward. The series is produced by Dan Saladino, who also reports for the programme and presents some episodes.

It is a programme about food production, consumption and quality rather than a cookery programme with recipes. It looks at the food industry (usually that of Britain) at the macroscopic level. Farming Today covers the upstream section of the British food industry and The Food Programme covers the downstream section.


The programme has run since 1979 and was initially broadcast at 12:30 on a Sunday afternoon, immediately preceding The World This Weekend. It is repeated the following day (i.e. on Monday afternoon) at 3:30 p.m..

Supermarkets are where most British people buy food, and influence our eating habits


Programmes are usually devoted to discussion of a single topic, from a consumer angle, such as:

  • Topical issues related to food, such as institutional cookery or dealing with food waste;
  • A specific food item, such as a particular fruit or traditional dish;
  • Food of a certain geographical area or of certain ethnic peoples;
  • Health issues in relation to food.

Sometimes, the theme of a programme may fit into several of the above categories. For example, the programme broadcast on 14 and 15 August 2011 dealt with institutional policies to improve the diets of people in Scotland so as to make their diets more salubrious, a topic which is at once a topical issue related to food, a health issue related to food and a topic relating to the diet of people in a certain geographical group.

All the most recent programmes are now available indefinitely at the Radio 4 website to listen again.

BBC Food and Farming Awards

The show hosts the annual BBC Radio Food and Farming Awards, and in so doing has been praised by Charles, Prince of Wales as a "national institution".[1]



Awards won by The Food Programme

The Food Programme, which celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in November 2009,[3] has won multiple UK radio awards.[4][5]

See also


  1. ^ Speech by the Prince of Wales at the BBC Radio Food and Farming Awards 2000
  2. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Food and Farming Awards - The BBC Food and Farming Awards 2019 Winners". BBC. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  3. ^ Paul Vallely (15 November 2009). "Relish for food and an appetite for change". Independent on Sunday.
  4. ^ Glenfiddich Food & Drink Awards
  5. ^ Guild of Food Writers Awards 1998, 2001, 2004

External links

News items

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