Autumn programming on BBC Radio 2
Radio 2 announces Steve Wright and Paul Gambaccini will front new shows this autumn
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BBC Radio 2
Steve Wright is the new host of Pick of the Pops every Saturday lunchtime (1-3pm) from Saturday 21 October, while Paul Gambaccini moves to Sunday evening (8-10pm) to premiere an exciting new live show on the station.
Steve, who will continue to present Love Songs each Sunday morning (9-11am), says: “Pick of the Pops is such a legendary show. Gambo brilliantly made it his own over the last seven and a half years, and now it’s my chance to give it a go! It’s a great privilege to present such an iconic show on Radio 2, and Pick of the Pops fans don’t worry – it’s going be the same and different at the same time.
“I’ve got lots of other exciting upcoming Radio 2 shows too, and am particularly looking forward to Your Ultimate Kylie Song when I’ll be counting down her top songs, as voted for by listeners. Like most people around the world I’m a huge Kylie fan, and can’t wait to hear which song takes that number one spot!”
Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2 says: “I’m delighted Steve will be picking up the mantle of the mighty Pick of the Pops in the autumn. I can’t wait to hear his unique take on the songs that over the decades have soundtracked all of our lives. Steve will continue to broadcast specials across the station, including our long-awaited Kylie Minogue listener vote, and he’ll carry on soothing the nation every Sunday morning with his ever popular Sunday Love Songs show.”
Paul’s new show will see him rediscover and resurface long forgotten tracks from across the past eight decades, playing some of his favourite lesser-known records from the 1950’s onwards. He’ll be sharing his encyclopaedic knowledge of the artists and bands he is playing, as well as mining his memory bank for the amazing stories which reflect his life lived in music and radio.
In October, Radio 2 will celebrate Paul’s 50th anniversary as a national broadcaster with a very special show, and he will also present a number of artist specials on the station.
Paul says: “This year marks the 25th anniversary of my happy relationship with Radio 2, which began with America’s Greatest Hits. When I accepted the Pick of the Pops assignment in 2016, I was told it would be for between five and ten years. Here we are, smack dab in the middle, seven-and-a-half years later, and it is time for Chapter Three. I am delighted that on the new show I will have the opportunity to present neglected gems from the past century, be they album tracks, 7" B-sides or missed hits. The show will be live, because live is best. It is a happy presenter who gets to share great music of his choice with loyal long-term listeners.
“I’m also grateful that this autumn Radio 2 will observe my 50 continuous years as a national broadcaster, which began on Radio 1 in October 1973.”
Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2 says: “I’d like to thank Paul for presenting Pick of the Pops so brilliantly since 2016. Given Paul’s passion for music of all eras and genres I wanted to create a new Radio 2 home for him which allows him to showcase his unparalleled knowledge whilst playing some of the best records in the world. I can’t wait to hear Paul’s first show in October, and I’m looking forward to celebrating his broadcasting golden anniversary this Autumn.”
Steve’s forthcoming specials include Steve Wright’s Summer Nights (Monday 21 – Thursday 24 August 7-9pm). Produced by BBC Audio, Steve will be live with the songs that sound good in the summer, from L.A. soft rock, to Summer of Love hits and the coolest contemporary summer tunes, as well as playing listeners’ summer shout-outs.
From Monday 21 August, BBC Sounds will launch Steve Wright’s Love Songs Extra, four x 30m shows, each focussing on one year. Listeners will hear a blend of classic love songs and real-life romance stories, all from 1983, 1993, 2003 or 2013.
Also previewing on Monday 21 August on BBC Sounds, Steve presents Your Ultimate Kylie Song, the full Top 40 countdown of Radio 2 listeners’ favourite Kylie songs. The show will be exclusively available on BBC Sounds from Monday 21 August and broadcast on Radio 2 on Monday 28 August from 4-7pm.
Radio 2 will continue to commission new Sunday Night is Music Night concerts.
Upcoming commissions include:
Sunday Night is Music Night, Celebrating 100 Years of Hollywood, Sunday 13 August, 8-10pm.
One hundred years ago, in 1923, a sign rose from the scrub on Mount Lee in Santa Monica advertising a new housing development called Hollywood-land. Presented by Star Wars legend Denis Lawson, a cast of over 80 perform a unique cinematic concert from one of Europe’s most popular movie locations, Malta, celebrating 100 years of tinsel-town in spectacular style.
Six outstanding West End soloists, Louise Dearman (Wicked), Gloria Onitiri (The Bodyguard), Rebecca Trehearn (Bad Cinderella), Trevor Dion Nicholas (Aladdin), Jesse Smith (Led Zeppelin Symphonic) and Michael Xavier (Roman Holiday) together with chorus, Dynamic Vocals, led by Ben Francis, take us from the Golden Age to the present day, from the dancing feet of Astaire to the full throttle sound of Top Gun: Maverick.
Radio 2 listeners will have the chance to celebrate some of Stevie Wonder’s most iconic work, with the broadcast of Prom 48: Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions, with Jules Buckley Orchestra and Cory Henry (Sunday 3 September, 8-10pm). Cory Henry, a singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and keyboardist, will join Jules Buckley and his orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall for performances including Higher Ground, Living for the City and Don’t You Worry ’Bout a Thing. The impact of Stevie Wonder’s 1973 hit album Innervisions is still felt by musicians and listeners to this day.
This autumn, James King will present Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton, to be recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in October. Featuring the scores from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Edward Scissorhands, Alice in Wonderland, Beetlejuice, Batman, Dark Shadows and many more. Danny Elfman’s famous film scores will be performed live by the BBC Concert Orchestra and Crouch End Festival Chorus, conducted by John Mauceri. Plus, special guest performances by Danny Elfman and violinist Sandy Cameron, and listeners will be able to hear James in conversation with Danny.
Doctor Who @ 60: A Musical Celebration is another exciting new commission for the autumn. Since its launch on BBC Television in November 1963 Doctor Who has been delighting millions of fans all over the world as they have followed the adventures of the Time Lord.
With its instantly recognisable theme, specially composed music has always been at the heart of Doctor Who. In this celebration concert from BBC Hoddinott Hall in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and The BBC Singers conducted by Alastair King, explore this music with works by Murray Gold, Segun Akinola, Dudley Simpson, Paddy Kingsland and of course Ron Grainer’s original theme as imagined by the BBC Radio Radiophonic Workshop’s Delia Derbyshire. Guests include Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies and composer Murray Gold who has recently returned to the show. More news will be announced at a later date.
Radio 2’s Rhythm Nation host Trevor Nelson returns with Soul Christmas, a concert with a host of special guests performing re-imagined and re-scored iconic tracks, performed live by the BBC Concert Orchestra. The two previous concerts, which brought down the house in 2019 and 2022, featured performances from Corrine Bailey Rae, Emeli Sandé, Laura Mvula and Omar.
Plus, on Saturday 16 September, Radio 2 in the Park will be broadcast live from Leicester on Radio 2 and BBC Sounds, and in vision on BBC iPlayer. Sunday’s line-up includes: Simply Red (with their only UK festival appearance this year), Sam Ryder, Lemar, Jessie Ware, Rick Astley, Shalamar, Pretenders and headliner Kylie Minogue. Saturday’s line-up is Soft Cell, Busted, Beverley Knight, Deacon Blue, James Blunt (with his only UK festival appearance this year), Texas, Bananarama and headliners Tears for Fears.
BBC Radio 2 is the UK’s most listened to radio station, with a weekly audience of 13.5 million (RAJAR Q2, 2023). The network’s presenters include Michael Ball, Zoe Ball, Rob Beckett, Tony Blackburn, OJ Borg, Rev. Kate Bottley, Fearne Cotton, Sara Cox, Jamie Cullum, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Gary Davies, Paul Gambaccini, Angela Griffin, Bob Harris, Vernon Kay, Cerys Matthews, Scott Mills, Jason Mohammad, Trevor Nelson, Dermot O’Leary, Elaine Paige, Mark Radcliffe, Romesh Ranganathan, Rylan, DJ Spoony, Liza Tarbuck, Jeremy Vine, Michelle Visage, Johnnie Walker, Jo Whiley, Claudia Winkleman, Steve Wright and Owain Wyn Evans.
Source BBC Radio 2
October 10, 2023 3:00am ET by BBC Radio 2