Radio 2 presents an autumnal festival of entertainment

BBC Radio 2 this autumn presents a festival of entertainment featuring some of music's biggest names and jazz's smoothest voices.

Bob Shennan, Controller, BBC Radio 2 and Radio 6 Music, comments: "The Radio 2 autumn schedule is incredibly distinctive this season, with something for everyone. It's jam packed with some of the best loved names in entertainment coupled with an eclectic programme of celebrations and documentaries."

From tonight (Monday 5 September), jazz lover Moira Stuart showcases the impact of the lives and music of some of the most influential women in music in Strong And Sassy: Inspiring Women Of Jazz, a four-part series from UBC Media.

Moira said: "I'm delighted to have the chance to showcase five of the greatest female vocalists, who broke the mould and set the jazz world alight."

The lives of five of Moira's favourite female jazz stars – Lena Horne, Adelaide Hall, Anita O'Day, Sarah Vaughan and Carmen McRae – will be profiled in this four-part series, which will focus on how some used their fame and notoriety to push social and musical boundaries whilst fighting injustice and prejudice. Produced by Unique Broadcasting, Moira will talk to their friends, biographers and artists, with some archive interviews and performances, and some of Moira's personal memories added to the mix.

Saturday 10 September sees a duo of presenters making their debut on the network.

Charlotte Church will deputise for Zoe Ball's Early Breakfast Show (6am-8am) for two weeks, serving up a live breakfast show mix of tunes, chat and cheer to start the weekend.

The youngest singer to top the classical charts with her album Voice Of An Angel, Charlotte Church published her autobiography when just 15 years old and then transformed herself into a pop princess when she released her Tissues And Issues album.

Charlotte says: "Taking over as host of Radio 2's Zoe Ball Show while she is away for a couple of weeks is such an exciting prospect for me. I jumped at the chance when asked. It's going to be a great opportunity to choose some of my favourite music to play on the radio and as it's two hours of live broadcasting on the UK's biggest radio station the adrenalin is going to be pumping! Thankfully, an added bonus is, I don't have to wear make up and get all dressed up to do it!"

As Dermot O'Leary takes a few weeks break, Noel Gallagher jumps into the hotseat to present his first Radio 2 show live on Saturday 10 September (3-6pm), playing three hours of his favourite records. Justin Lee Collins will deputise Dermot's show on Saturday 17 September.

Dermot comments: "With Noel and Justin I am delighted to have the leading authorities in music, comedy and hair taking over my show. I hope they are a moderate success."

On Sunday 11 September, Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park sees the station breaking out of the studio and into life with a unique concert featuring performances by Lionel Richie with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Lenny Kravitz, Will Young, James Blunt, Beverley Knight and Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra including Sandie Shaw and Ruby Turner. Chris Evans and his Radio 2 presenting colleagues will host the day which promises to be the perfect summer day out.

Since Jamie Cullum launched his jazz show on Radio 2 in April 2010, he has trawled the jazz world high and low for tunes and artists that he thinks the Radio 2 audience will enjoy. On Tuesday 20 September, he hits the jackpot, and talks with fellow jazz lover Metallica drummer, Lars Ulrich. Lars is a fan as his father was a jazz musician and Jamie loves heavy metal – what a brilliantly unexpected meeting of musical minds.

Jamie Cullum says: "Long before I was into jazz I was a fan of heavy metal music and I still enjoy a lot of rock and heavy metal today. Metallica are one band that really did it for me in my early days of becoming a music lover and they still do. I saw them live for the first time when I was 15 years old at the Donington Monsters of Rock concert and I've been a fan ever since. I've always been interested in the technical mastery it took to play both jazz and heavy metal. When I discovered Lars Ulrich, one of the founder members of Metallica, is into his jazz I had to get him onto my Radio 2 show."

Twenty years ago, one riff of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit changed music for an entire generation and an industry with the release of their seminal album Nevermind. Exclusively broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music on Friday 23 September within Steve Lamacq's show, and later on Radio 2, the 20th anniversary in September will be commemorated with Here We Are Now, Entertain Us – 20 Years Of Nevermind a documentary charting the story of the album which sold over 26 million copies worldwide. Former Nirvana band members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl and other key players tell their unique stories to Steve Lamacq.

Sir Jimmy Young makes a welcome return to Radio 2 on Tuesday 20 September as the network celebrates his 90th birthday with a special one-hour profile on the legendary broadcaster. Sir Jimmy Young At 90 hears him in conversation with his friend and former sparring partner Ken Bruce, as they look back over Jimmy's extraordinary career.

The programme spans the decades of his life with Sir Jimmy reminiscing about his childhood, army days and how he became the first British singer to have two consecutive number one hits, and all before his broadcasting career had even begun. He went on to broadcast on BBC radio for an incredible 37 years.

On coming back to Radio 2 Sir Jimmy says: "It's great to be making a programme for Radio 2 – especially with my mate Ken Bruce."

On Thursday 22 September, a new six-part series hosted by musical expert, conductor and presenter Charles Hazlewood finds the links between seemingly unconnected pieces of music.

Each week, Charles Hazlewood presents an iconic pop track in a new light: how do The Prodigy relate to J.S. Bach? What do Mozart and Abba have in common? Produced by Somethin' Else, Hazlewood isolates the track's key ingredients and explores how they are used in other musical genres, whether it's Beethoven or the Bee Gees, Youssou N'Dour or John Tavener, before returning to the original track with new insight into what makes it so great.

Greetings Pop Pickers – The Story Of Pick Of The Pops celebrates the 50th anniversary of UK radio's longest running programmes on 27 September. This new documentary charts the history of the legendary radio series, playing archive clips featuring Alan "Fluff" Freeman and David Jacobs, and contributions from Sir Cliff Richard, Tony Blackburn, Robert Plant and Sir Paul McCartney. Tim Rice, who wrote the early editions of the Guinness Book of Hit Records, will chart the history of the programme, which was broadcast on The Light Programme, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BFBS, Capital Radio and Capital Gold during its 50 year life, which continues today with Tony Blackburn at the helm.

Tim says: "I'll follow the evolution of radio's longest lasting pop music show from its creation as a showcase for new releases in the Fifties, how it changed through pop's golden age in the swinging Sixties, being dropped in the Seventies, its restoration in the Eighties and how it brings the charts alive to new generations today."

Earlier this year, Dave Pearce celebrated dance music on Radio 2, and David Rodigan is currently presenting the best of reggae.

In November, the temperature will rise as Gloria Estefan explores the history of the Latin American music through the prism of her 34-year career as a musician. The winner of seven Grammy Awards, Gloria will present a seven part series, Gloria Estefan's Latin Beat, featuring the individual music styles and scenes from all the different Latin countries. Folded Wing will paint a musical map of Brazil (Samba/Bossa Nova), Cuba (Rumba/Mambo), Puerto Rico (Salsa), Colombia (Cumbia), Argentina (Tango), Mexico (Mariachi) and Dominican Republic (Merengue). And she'll interview her musical friends and peers, past and present, from Jose Feliciano to Sergio Mendes and Shakira.

Gloria says: "I am so happy to be able to share my Latin roots and the passion of the music with the listeners of Radio 2 and all my fans in the UK. This will be a special treat for me to make."

Two Episodes Of Mash was the stand out success of Radio 2's 2010 Comedy Showcase, a series of pilots showcasing the best new comedic talent around. This October, Two Episodes Of Mash – a.k.a. Diane Morgan (Phoenix Nights, Mock The Week) and Joe Wilkinson (Have I Got News For You) – return to Radio 2 with more silly, surreal humour. Each show is a mix of silly sketches interspersed with Diane and Joe's banter – a world of timesheets, football stickers and James Bond. This four-part series also features performances by Perrier Award-winner David O'Doherty and Radio 2 presenter Ken Bruce.

The music of Pink Floyd, one of rock music's most enduring and influential bands will be placed until the musical microscope this October with a season of exclusive programmes celebrating their legacy.

Days In The Life is a must listen for any Pink Floyd fan, featuring exclusive interviews with David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Nick Mason, alongside the last radio interview that the late Rick Wright ever gave. Produced by Radio 2's Mark Hagen, it tells their story from pre-Floyd days in the early Sixties right up to Nick and David's live appearance with Roger earlier this summer.

The award-winning documentary series The Record Producers explores the work of legendary record producers and returns to unlock the secrets of the music of Pink Floyd. Produced by record producer Steve Levine and Radio 2 presenter Richard Allinson of Magnum Opus, the mystery of that incredible Pink Floyd sound will be revealed and the creative relationships between the band members explored to discover just why those Pink Floyd recordings sound so good. Original multi-tracks and rare recordings from Meddle and Wish You Were Here, and one of the music world's most influential albums of all time, Dark Side Of The Moon, will be scrutinised and explained by David Gilmour and Nick Mason.

Johnnie Walker will also host a Sounds Of The 70s special with David Gilmour, which will lift the lid on band's influences during this period and the story of their decade.

As women find themselves increasingly at the centre of religious news around the world – from Tahir Square in Cairo, to the ban on wearing headscarves in France and Belgium, to the arguments over women bishops in the Church of England – thousands of years of religious culture and belief are stripped back to find out just what has religion done for women.

A part of Faith In The World week, What Has Religion Done For Women? will feature a rich variety of location recordings and rare "behind-the-scenes" access to women who follow conservative and orthodox religious lifestyles. Whilst respectful of religious sensitivities, the programme will explode some of the stereotypes of oppression but also explore many of the significant problems and issues.

The Royal Albert Hall is one of the most iconic music venues in the world, and has attracted the biggest names in rock and pop, including the first sumo tournament to be held outside of Japan in 1500 years and is, of course, home to the greatest classical music festival in the world, The Proms. Celebrating The Royal Albert Hall presented by Charles Hazlewood looks back at the huge diversity of concerts, exhibitions and sporting events that have taken place throughout its illustrious 140 year history. Contributors include Katherine Jenkins, Neil Sedaka, Tim Henman, Eddie Izzard and John Bishop.


September 5, 2011 7:43am ET by Newsdesk   Comments (0)

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