Media Show extended as part of Spring schedule on BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4 is introducing a raft of new shows and commissions this Spring including a longer Media Show.

The Media Show will be extended in an hour slot every Wednesday at 4pm and Ros Atkins and Katie Razzall will now co-present the programme in a visualised studio, with highlights airing on BBC News (weekends) and BBC World Service (Thursday 10am).

The new length programme will remain on Wednesday afternoon but will be repeated on Thursdays at 8pm.

Most of the schedule stays the same but some key programmes covering food, health and investigations are moving to higher profile slots, many with longer durations.

Mohit Bakaya, Director of Speech and Controller of BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra says: “We’ve refreshed the schedule to take into account changing listener habits and priorities, with the aim of giving our audience more of what they want, when they want it.

“We’re shaping the schedule to better accompany listeners through the day and the week, offering the thought-provoking and surprising programming we know matters deeply to them. At a time when Radio 4’s ambition to cover the most important stories with clear, authoritative journalism, alongside engaging and imaginative storytelling, is more important than ever, the new schedule will remain faithful to the core principles on which Radio 4 is built.”

Highlights of the refreshed schedule include:

Desert Island Discs will be extended to one hour, and will be first broadcast in the new timeslot of 10.00 on Sunday mornings, a slot it will share with The Reunion (and continues to have a repeat on Friday mornings at 09.00). The Archers Omnibus will follow on Sunday at 11.00 but will be newly available on Sounds from midnight on Sunday morning. The previously unrepeated Friday night episode of The Archers gains a repeat on a Saturday afternoon at 14.45.

The Food Programme gets a longer duration of 42 minutes in a new slot on Fridays at 11.00, repeated on Saturday evenings at 22.15.

Radio 4’s investigative news programme, File on 4, will be extended to 42 minutes. It will still air first at 20.00 on Tuesday evenings, and will be repeated at 11.00 on Wednesday to bring it to a larger audience in a more high profile slot.

Monday mornings at 11.00 will also allow space for longer series to delve deeper into topics, with 42 minutes set for short documentary series, often in two or three parts. E.g The Rise and Rise of the Microchip, The Invention Of…, The Patch.

Single documentaries will live under umbrella brands making the live schedule easier to navigate as well as being simpler to discover on BBC Sounds.

Free Thinking moves from BBC Radio 3 to BBC Radio 4 and will air at 21.00 on Friday evening.

The Verb moves from BBC Radio 3 to Radio 4 on Sunday afternoons (17:10). In addition, a sister programme, The Adverb, will also air, which sees Ian McMillan bring six special extended editions recorded at festivals and poetry events, featuring live performance in front of audiences.