Radio 4 Extra – more information

Information is slowly emerging about about the upcoming switch from Radio 7 to Radio 4 Extra.


It appears that the switch will happen in the ‘first week in April’ – information about the new Archer’s spin off points to this date.  You’ll also see that I’m one of the few people who’s written a comment in support of the new programme- the first time I have been moved to do so on the BBC site (check out comment 11 on the posting).  For me, this couldn’t be worse timing assuming the ‘first week’ of April is the 4th April.  I’m in Lancaster for my PhD residential, though I will of course be taking a radio with me.


We don’t know much about the schedule yet, though I guess like all Radio programmes it will be published a week in advance.  Ambridge Extra will be on twice a day, at 10:00 and 14:15, so that seems to indicate that there will be repetition as there is now, though could we hope for maybe a little less (8:00, 12:00, 19:00 ‘classic comedy’ for instance, if I’ve had a hard day in front of the keyboard it’s possible if not likely that I will here each of these repeats, and be able to act as a prompt to The Men from the Ministry).  It’s unclear too what will happen to current programmes which haven’t finished their run.  I’m enjoying The Navy Lark, and whilst each episode is pretty well interchangeable, it would be a shame if they can’t complete the entire run.  I do hope that they keep the zoned programming though, it’s nice to know that I can turn the radio on at (say 10pm), and know there’s going to be comedy, or if I’m unfortunate Heated Rollers.


Well we know that there are going to be extended versions of The News Quiz / Now Show, and classic Desert Island Discs – so that will be something to look forward to.  Other nuggets in the press release state that some new comedy will be premiered on Radio 4 Extra before its outing on Radio 4.  This is a good idea, given how comedy programmes frequently transfer from the Radio (I listened to Miranda Hart’s Comedy Shop on Radio 2 well before the first series aired on BBC2, and the rest of the world ‘discovered her’).

Catch Up

It looks like there will be more podcasts available for off-line listening (Keri Davies has confirmed Ambridge Extra will be a podcast too), and of course there’s always iPlayer.  Worryingly though, buried in the BBC’s online strategy I remember reading that they were considering ‘spinning off’ Radio from the iPlayer.  If so, this is a mistake – so much time has been spent integrating the two services, and even my mom, who is not a techie can click on the iPlayer icon I’ve put on her desktop and access any Archers episodes she has missed.


That’s all that I’ve been able to gleam, and it seems that even the BBC News site can add little to the current knowledge, they’re keeping this all pretty hush hush apart from trailing the launch ‘coming soon’ fairly heavily on Radio 4.  I’ll resist posting more until actual launch, though if you hear anything, feel free to add a comment below.



1 comment so far

  1. jonsmalldon on

    (Saturday) April 2nd seems to be target day by the way. I’m just sad enough that I may need to be adjacent to a radio when the switch over happens.

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