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BBC Radio2

BBC Radio 2

This is the most listened to radio station in the UK, and with its line up of presenters including Jonathan Ross and Terry Wogan, it’s easy to see why. Radio 2 mixes old favourites and new hits with specialist shows for niche genres.


Radio 2 offers a mix of music and speech, and aims for a broad audience of over 35s. It features popular music programmes and talk-based content including news and current affairs, documentaries, arts, comedy, religion and readings. It’s funded by the television licence fee so doesn’t broadcast adverts. It is hugely popular, attracting 27% of the available audience in 2006.

The station was born at 7:00am on 30 September 1967, taking over from the Light Programme and sharing airtime with Radio 1. This joint programming went on for several years until Radio 2 moved towards relaxed pop/rock, folk and country, jazz and big-band music, easy listening, light classics, and old favourites Ð along with sport and comedy.

In the 90’s Radio 2 confirmed its position appealing to older listeners by introducing a new lineup of presenters and light music. This was popular with the target audience, but younger listeners weren’t keen.

A change of staff meant that contemporary music was played during the day and specialist shows were aired in the evenings. This proved extremely popular, and is a format that’s still used today.

Brian Matthew's ÔSounds of the Sixties’ is a popular feature on Saturdays, and Steve Harley's shorter ÔSounds of the Seventies’ airs midweek. Sundays are dedicated to the way Radio 2 used to be, with presenters like Malcolm Laycock and David Jacobs and programmes like Sunday Half Hour.

Radio 2 is unique in that it shares aspects with other stations but keeps a flavour of its own. It doesn’t broadcast complete works of classical music like Radio 3, or full discussion and drama like Radio 4. Before the medium wave branched off to form Radio Five Live, Radio 2 was home to the BBC's sports radio coverage.

Today Radio 2 is the most listened to radio station in the UK, and is hosted by well-respected broadcasters like Sir Terry Wogan, Steve Wright, Chris Evans, Ken Bruce, Bob Harris, Jeremy Vine, Stuart Maconie, Janice Long, Johnnie Walker, Russell Brand, and Jonathan Ross.

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