BBC Radio 4 Extra launches with new comedy and drama
On Saturday 2nd April the brand spanking new BBC Radio 4 Extra launches and with it comes a raft of jovial gems to add to the previous Radio 7 digital network's bustling schedule. This includes welcoming the comedians Rufus Hound, Arthur Smith and Andi Osho to Radio 4's sister digital station and a new Archers spin-off series.
On 2nd April 2011, Radio 7 becomes Radio 4 Extra. While at heart it remains an archive network of classic comedy, drama and family entertainment, Radio 4 Extra will also feature extensions of some well loved Radio 4 programmes and introduces new gems for radio lovers to enjoy.
Listeners to BBC Radio 4 Extra will be able to enjoy more stories from Ambridge with the launch of a new series, Ambridge Extra, on the digital network next month. Ambridge Extra will give listeners the chance to spend more time with Archers characters and give them an added insight into other areas of their lives - it can be enjoyed in conjunction with The Archers, or listeners can tune in to both as stand-alone dramas.
Rufus Hound joins the station as the presenter of What's So Funny? - a half-hour weekly whizz through the world of comedy on Friday, 10.00-10.30am, from Friday 8th April.
On becoming part of the Radio 4 Extra fold, Rufus Hound says: "Everyone knows that Extra is a word inherently linked with good; extra portions, extra good, extra marital affair. Wherever the word Extra's heading, you want to follow. So when I was told there was going to be a Radio 4 Extra, I wanted in."
Radio 4 Extra's Comedy Club runs six nights a week from 10.00pm to 12midnight and features contemporary comedy, along with comic guests popping in for good measure. Starting Sunday 3rd April, the late evening show will be introduced by various comedians, who will inject their own unique take on proceedings.
These new series are additions to other Radio 4 Extra comedy innovations:
- The Now Show and The News Quiz Extra - a 45-minute extended version of the weekly Radio 4 programme every Friday, 10.00-10.45pm. The programme will also include some clips and songs from the archives, exclusive behind-the-scenes material and interviews and favourite show regulars.
- Comedy First - a new strand whereby Radio 4 Extra listeners hear premieres of new comedy series before transferring to BBC Radio 4 - kicking off with the third series of Arthur Smith's Balham Bash on Tuesday 5 April, 10.00-10.30am.