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Timeline of BBC Radio 4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A timeline of notable events relating to BBC Radio 4, a British national radio station which began broadcasting in September 1967.

1960s

  • 1967
    • 30 September – Radio 4 launches at 6:35 am, replacing the BBC Home Service. The first programme to be broadcast is Farming Today.[1]
    • 22 December – Panel game Just a Minute is first aired with Nicholas Parsons as chairman (initially as a temporary stand-in); it will still be running 50 years later with the same chairman.
  • 1968
    • No events.
  • 1969
    • 10 July – The BBC publishes a report called "Broadcasting in the Seventies" proposing the reorganisation of programmes on the national networks and replacing regional broadcasting on BBC Radio 4 with BBC Local Radio.

1970s

  • 1970
  • 1971
    • 4 November – Radio 4 (and Radio 2) begin broadcasting in stereo in South East England. Stereo was rolled out to the rest of the country over subsequent years.[2]
  • 1972
  • 1973
  • 1974
  • 1975
    • No events.
  • 1976
  • 1977
  • 1978
    • 3 April – Permanent radio broadcasts of proceedings in the House of Commons begin.[6] Radio 4 marks the first day with an afternoon of live coverage.[7] The station goes on to broadcast Prime Minister's Questions for the next year.
    • 3 July – Changes are made to the station's weekday breakfast schedule. After just over a year on air, Up to the Hour is cancelled. Consequently, Today once again becomes a continuous two-hour programme. Also, a new weekday 6 am News Briefing is introduced.
    • 23 November –
      • Radio 4's AM service moves from medium wave to 1500m (200 kHz) long wave as part of a plan to improve national AM reception, and to conform with the Geneva Frequency Plan of 1975.[8] However long wave reception is not universal so in some parts of the UK where long wave reception is poor, filler transmitters on MW are used.
      • The shipping forecast transfers from BBC Radio 2 to BBC Radio 4 so that the forecast can continue to be broadcast on long wave.
      • The Radio 4 UK Theme is used for the first time to coincide with the network becoming a fully national service for the first time and to mark this the station is officially known as Radio 4 UK.
    • 22 December – Industrial action at the BBC by the ABS union, which started the previous day, extends to radio when the radio unions join their television counterparts by going on strike, forcing the BBC to merge its four national radio networks into one national radio station from 4.00pm and called it the BBC All Network Radio Service. The strike is settled shortly before 10.00pm on Friday 22 December 1978, with the unions and BBC management reaching an agreement at the British government's industrial disputes arbitration service ACAS.[9][10][11][12]
  • 1979

1980s

  • 1980
    • Summer – Due to the continued expansion of BBC Local Radio, regional opt-out programming ends, apart from in the south west as this is now the only part of England still without any BBC local station.
  • 1981
    • No events.
  • 1982
  • 1983
    • No events.
  • 1984
    • 5 April – Radio 4 begins what is described in the Radio Times as "a new three-hour sequence – a six-month broadcast experiment in which you are invited to participate." The programme is called Rollercoaster and is presented by Richard Baker.[14] The "Grand Finale of Radio 4's rollicking rolling experiment" takes place on 27 September [15] and was not repeated.
    • 27 July – David Jacobs chairs Any Questions? for the final time.
    • 14 September – John Timpson chairs Any Questions? for the first time.
    • 29 September –
      • Radio 4 starts broadcasting 30 minutes earlier at the weekend when it launches a 20-minute Prelude, described as “a musical start to your weekend listening”.[16] Consequently, the station is now on air every day from just before 6 am until 12:30 am.
      • The Radio 4 UK branding is dropped and the station is now officially simply known as Radio 4.
  • 1985
    • 28 June – The final weeknight Study on 4 broadcast takes place.
    • 29 June – Study on 4 is renamed Options and from this date all of BBC Radio's adult educational programming is now broadcast on weekend afternoons.[17] The programmes continue to be broadcast only on VHF/FM.
    • July–August – During the 1985 school summer holidays, Radio 4 broadcasts an all-morning children's programme called Pirate Radio 4 on Thursday mornings. Three editions of the programme are aired. It is broadcast on VHF/FM only with the usual Radio 4 schedule continuing on long wave.
  • 1986
  • 1987
  • 1988
  • 1989

1990s

  • 1990
    • 23 June – Ahead of the transfer of all of BBC radio's educational programmes to the forthcoming BBC Radio 5, the last edition of Options, the BBC's weekend afternoon strand of adult educational programmes which had been transmitted as an opt-out from the main schedule on FM, is broadcast.[22]
    • 29 June – Programmes For Schools are broadcast on Radio 4 for the final time.
    • 20 August – The Moral Maze is broadcast for the first time.
    • 24 August – Listening Corner, the weekday lunchtime programme for small children, is broadcast for the final time.
    • 26 August – Open University programmes are broadcast on Radio 4 FM for the final time. They will return to Radio 4 in 1994 but will be broadcast only on long wave.
    • 27 August – BBC Radio 5 goes on air. Consequently, the full Radio 4 schedule is broadcast on FM for the first time.
  • 1991
    • 17 January-2 March – Radio 4 News FM, the first rolling BBC radio news service is on air during the first Gulf War. It broadcasts on the station's FM frequencies, with the regular scheduled service continuing on long wave.[23][24]
    • 25 July – The final episode of soap opera Citizens is broadcast.
    • 16 September –
      • The main BBC Radio 4 service moves from long wave to FM as FM coverage has now been extended to cover almost all of the UK – Radio 4 didn't become available on FM in much of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland until the start of the 1990s. Opt-outs are transferred to long wave, including The Daily Service which from this day is broadcast only on long wave.
      • Woman’s Hour moves from early afternoons to a mid-morning slot.[25][26]
  • 1992
    • late March-7 April – For the first time, Radio 4 long wave opts out of the main Radio 4 schedule. It does so to provide additional coverage of the latest developments in the general election campaign. Previously, additional news coverage had been broadcast on FM.
    • 25 July – BBC Radio 4 stops the week for the final time, after having done so since 1974.
  • 1993
    • Following the success of Radio 4 News FM in 1991, and of a similar service on Long Wave during the 1992 UK general election, the BBC considers launching a rolling news service on Radio 4’s long wave frequency. The plan is widely opposed by listeners and the proposals are dropped. A new news and sport service BBC Radio 5 Live launches the following year.
    • 18 December – BBC 2 broadcasts the Arena special "Radio Night", an ambitious simulcast with BBC Radio 4.[27]
  • 1994
    • 21 February – A new weekday afternoon magazine show starts, called Anderson Country. The programme proves divisive amongst the station’s listenership and was replaced after a year by The Afternoon Shift.
    • 24 March – The Financial World Tonight is broadcast on Radio 4 for the final time, ahead of its move to the new news and sport station BBC Radio 5 Live.
    • 8 April – Test Match Special is transferred from BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 5 to BBC Radio 4’s long wave frequency.
    • April –
      • Adult education and Open University programmes return to Radio 4 following the closure of BBC Radio 5. They are broadcast on long wave only as a two-hour block on Sunday evenings. Open University programmes are broadcast between February and September with language courses aired from October until January.
      • Children’s programmes also return to Radio 4. However, instead of daily programmes, just one weekly 30-minute programme is broadcast.
  • 1995
  • 1996
  • 1997
    • 31 August – Regular programming on the BBC’s radio and television stations is abandoned to provide ongoing news coverage of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Radio 4 airs a special programme from BBC Radio News, which is also carried on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 5 Live.[29] Radio 4 broadcasts live coverage of the funeral six days later.
    • September – In the aftermath of Princess Diana's death, the PM programme drops its theme tune which had been in use since 1993. This had been the third time that the programme had used theme music and has not subsequently had a theme tune.
  • 1998
    • 6 April – Extensive schedule changes take place. Many long standing programmes are axed as part of the shake-up, including Breakaway, Week Ending and Sport on Four, and arts programme Kaleidoscope is replaced by a new programme Front Row with Mark Lawson as presenter. Also, the station goes on air 30 minutes earlier each day – 5:30 am instead of 6 am – and the weekday editions of The Today programme are extended by 30 minutes to three hours.[30]
    • 12 April – A Sunday episode of The Archers is introduced.
  • 1999
    • September – Open University broadcasts cease.

2000s

  • 2000
  • 2001
    • No events.
  • 2002
    • 15 December – Radio 4 gets a digital spin-off station, BBC7. The station broadcasts content from BBC Radio’s spoken word archive, repeating programmes previously broadcast on Radio 4, as well as airing daily programmes for children.
  • 2003
    • No events.
  • 2004
  • 2005
    • No events.
  • 2006
    • 23 April – The Radio 4 UK Theme is used for the last time, amid controversy over its axing by Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer. The decision to axe the Theme, which had been used since 1978, to make way for a 'pacy news briefing', led to widespread coverage in the media and even debate in Parliament.
    • 24 June – The final edition of Home Truths is broadcast.
    • 27 August – Sue Lawley presents her final edition of BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs after eighteen years. Her last castaway is the actress Joan Plowright.[32]
    • 16 September – Saturday Live begins.
  • 2007
    • No events.
  • 2008
    • 4 October – BBC7 is renamed BBC Radio 7 in an effort to bring it in line with other BBC Radio brands.[33]
    • 14 October – You and Yours undergoes a significant change of format, with two presenters being replaced by one. The breadth of topics covered is extended to global problems as well as those closer to home.
  • 2009
    • 24 May – Children's magazine show Go4It is broadcast for the final time.[34] The reason given is that it does not attract enough young listeners and that less than 1 in 20 of the show's audience is aged between 4 and 14, with the average age of the listeners being between 52 and 55. Consequently, there are now no children's programmes on BBC analogue radio.

2010s

2020s

References

  1. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 30 September 1967 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  2. ^ Brown, Ron "Steam radio comes up to date", New Scientist 2 November 1972, p. 264
  3. ^ "BBC Radio 2 – 29 June 1973 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  4. ^ Lavalie, John (2011-02-27). "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again (a Titles & Air Dates Guide)". epguides. Archived from the original on 2012-10-07. Retrieved 2012-10-08.
  5. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 30 April 1977 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  6. ^ "Significant events of 1978". The National Archives. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  7. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 3 April 1978 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  8. ^ "History of Radio Transmission in the UK" (PDF). Frequency Finder.
  9. ^ Walmsley, Andy (May 30, 2011). "Random radio jottings: BBC All Network Service".
  10. ^ Borgwick, Boggenstrovia Van (December 27, 2013). "Boggenstrovia's Bit: The Christmas that Nearly wasn't – The BBC Strike of December 1978 and Christmas Television of that year (2015 Update)".
  11. ^ "You can't touch me, I'm part of the union – Politics – Transdiffusion Broadcasting System". www.transdiffusion.org.
  12. ^ "TV Cream". tv.cream.org.
  13. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 1 April 1979 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  14. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 5 April 1984 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  15. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 27 September 1984 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  16. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 29 September 1984 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  17. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 29 June 1985 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  18. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 5 January 1986 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  19. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 24 December 1986 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  20. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 25 March 1988 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  21. ^ "The Archers – BBC Radio 4 FM – 26 May 1989 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  22. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 23 June 1990 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  23. ^ "Dictionary definition of 'stunt up'". Retrieved 2009-12-30. refers Sheena McDonald, "Scud-FM goes critical—BBC gears up for round-the-clock news service", page 25, The Guardian 17 August 1992
  24. ^ Franklin, Bob (31 March 2005). Key Concepts in Journalism Studies. Sage. ISBN 0-7619-4482-6.
  25. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 16 September 1991 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  26. ^ David Hendy Life on Air: A History of Radio Four, 2007, OUP, p. 332.
  27. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 18 December 1993 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  28. ^ Williams, Rhys (28 September 1995). "BBC switches on CD-quality radio". The Independent. Independent Print Limited. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  29. ^ "Peter Allen: BBC 5 live should speak for the 'have-nots'". BBC News. BBC. 28 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  30. ^ "BBC News | UK | New image for BBC Radio 4". news.bbc.co.uk.
  31. ^ Hodgson, Jessica (29 November 2000). "Radio 4 to broadcast eight-hour Harry Potter Boxing Day special". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  32. ^ Gibson, Owen (25 August 2006). "profile: Sue Lawley". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
  33. ^ "BBC 7 adds the magic word and becomes BBC Radio 7". BBC. 4 October 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  34. ^ "BBC Radio 4 FM – 24 May 2009 – BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk.
  35. ^ "What The Papers say set for radio revival". BBC News. 17 February 2010. Archived from the original on 18 February 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  36. ^ "God often surprises us, says Pope in BBC broadcast". BBC News. BBC. 24 December 2010. Archived from the original on 28 December 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  37. ^ "Newsreader Sian Williams returns to radio". Radio Today. 4 March 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2012.
  38. ^ Dowell, Ben (31 May 2012). "Radio 4 to dramatise Ulysses". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  39. ^ Sweney, Mark (5 September 2012). "Radio 4 announcers Charlotte Green and Harriet Cass to leave BBC". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
  40. ^ Plunkett, John (5 September 2012). "Familiar BBC radio voices to depart in 'night of the long mics'". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 23 December 2012.
  41. ^ "BBC Radio 4 newsreader Charlotte Green retires". BBC. 18 January 2013.
  42. ^ "Harriet Cass – Last bulletin on Radio 4". Audioboom.
  43. ^ "Archers bosses 'rest' Ambridge Extra spin-off". BBC News. BBC. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  44. ^ "Mark Lawson to leave BBC's Front Row". BBC News. BBC. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  45. ^ Harding, Luke (31 December 2014). "War and Peace on Radio 4: a ripping adaptation to grip a hungover nation". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
  46. ^ "Sandi Toksvig steps down from Radio 4's News Quiz". BBC News. BBC. 28 April 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  47. ^ "Radio 4 Extra overtakes 6 Music with record listeners". BBC News. BBC. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  48. ^ a b "James Naughtie to leave Radio 4 Today programme". BBC News. BBC. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  49. ^ "Nick Robinson leaves BBC political editor role". BBC News. BBC. 9 July 2015. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  50. ^ "Andrew Marr to tell Britain's history via poetry on Radio 4". BBC News. BBC. 28 June 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
  51. ^ "Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands moves to Today programme". BBC News. BBC. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  52. ^ Douglas, Claire (10 April 2017). "'Front Row' gets weekend edition, but 'Saturday Review' is axed". The Bookseller. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  53. ^ "Reprieve for Radio 4's Saturday Review". BBC News. BBC. 27 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  54. ^ "Prince Harry to 'shine spotlight' on issues". BBC News. BBC. 27 December 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
  55. ^ Furness, Hannah (30 March 2018). "Sarah Montague signs off Today programme with final jibe at John Humphrys". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 July 2018.
  56. ^ "Radio 4 presenter Eddie Mair to leave BBC". BBC News. 1 July 2018.
  57. ^ "Eddie Mair leaves Radio 4 earlier than planned". Radio Today. 8 August 2018.
  58. ^ "Radio 4's PM presenter Eddie Mair to get new LBC show". BBC News. 2 July 2018.
  59. ^ "Jonathan Dimbleby to exit Any Questions?". March 4, 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  60. ^ "Kirsty Young to stand down from Desert Island Discs". BBC News. BBC. 5 July 2019. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  61. ^ "BBC – Controllers for Pop Music, BBC Sounds and Radio 4 have been appointed – Media Centre". www.bbc.co.uk.
  62. ^ "John Humphrys to host his final edition of Radio 4 Today programme". BBC News. BBC. 18 September 2019. Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  63. ^ "Chris Mason: BBC Brexitcaster to be new host of Radio 4's Any Questions?". BBC News. BBC. 9 October 2019. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
  64. ^ "Sarah Sands: Radio 4's Today editor to stand down". BBC News. BBC. 30 January 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
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