Radio 1 Breakfast With Greg James
Comedian Greg James has been at Radio 1 for 12 years, and in 2018 he finally took over the breakfast slot. His show is a distinctive change of pace from his predecessor Nick Grimshaw – with James, it’s all about getting the listeners involved. Whether it’s giving him their unpopular opinion or helping to transport a Cornish pasty across the entirety of the UK for a Scottish girl to try it live on air for the first time, his show is all about you.
BBC Radio 1, Monday-Thursday, 6:30am
The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show
She may have only started her breakfast show last year, but Zoe Ball has received rave reviews as the first full-time front woman of Radio 2’s early morning show. From her obvious confidence in the role to filling the show with female voices (Tina Daheley is the morning newsreader, the first two songs she played were by Aretha Franklin and Rita Ora, and the first phone-in guest was a woman), the show is rightly a massive hit – and a cheery way to start the day.
BBC Radio 2, Monday-Thursday, 6:30am
Each episode, Lauren takes a listener back to a pivotal moment in their life through the music they listened to and loved at the time in ‘Social Recall’. And listeners also get a chance to have a tune played on the radio if they’re ‘First In’. Meanwhile, Lauren hand-picks something incredible from around the 6 Music schedule in ‘Fantastic Beats & Where To Find Them’, and she’ll also play you something brand new in ‘While You Were Sleeping’.
BBC 6 Music, Monday-Friday, 7:30am
Created back in 1946, Woman’s Hour is as much an institution now as it was then. Presented by Jane Garvey and Jenni Murray, the programme consists of 45 minutes of reports, interviews and debates on issues important to women and mothers, such as health, education, culture and politics. Mel B, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Annie Mac have all been recent guests – and the last 15 minutes feature mini drama serials which change, periodically.
BBC Radio 4, Monday-Friday, 10am
Since leaving Radio 1, Zane Lowe has moved to LA where he has his own show on Beats 1, a radio station part of Apple Music. Here, he’s had all kinds of music behemoths in the studio with him – James Blake, Anderson Paak, DJ Khaled, Zayn Malik, to name a few. His classic enthusiastic, motormouth interview style remains, but he’s freer to spin the tracks he loves.
Beats 1, Monday-Thursday, 4pm
In Our Time
In Our Time host Melvyn Bragg speaks with a team of experts to discuss one topic each week, which vary wildly in subject, from Africa to ageing and radiation to the Renaissance. If you’re in the mood to learn something new, it’s definitely worth a listen. The programme’s listeners’ top ten episodes – available on the show’s website – is a good place to start.
BBC Radio 4, Thursdays, 9am
Desert Island Discs
It’s a simple premise, but one that has kept the show afloat for nearly 70 years: presenter Lauren Laverne – who took over from the brilliant Kirsty Young last year – invites people in to talk about which music they would have with them if they were stranded on a desert island. Guests pick eight recordings (usually, but not always, music), a book and a luxury item. Recent guests have included Daniel Radcliffe, Mel C and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
BBC Radio 4, Fridays, 9am
Elis James & John Robins
For a little light comedy, tune in to comedians Elis James and John Robins. Described by John as “a commercial indie radio show that has got wildly out of hand," the show contains a number of brilliantly silly features such as ‘Humblebrag of the Week’ (reading aloud brags found on social media that are disguised as moans), ‘Email of the Species’ (Elis and John read out and respond to listener’s correspondence via the increasingly popular medium of email) and ‘John’s Shame Well’ (John reads emails from listeners confessing actions in the past that have caused anxiety and regret ever since). Hilarious.
Radio 5 Live, Fridays, 1pm
Kermode And Mayo’s Film Review
Film pros Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo make quite the team. This is the place where film nerds unite, and exciting, enthusiastic debates begin – and where you can hear about all the films to look forward to in the months to come. We might not be heading out for now, but we’ll never forget their cinema ‘Code of Conduct’: No slurping, no talking, and never, ever eat anything harder than a soft roll.
BBC Radio 5 Live, Fridays, 3pm
If you’re into punk music and offbeat hosts, then this is the show for you. Iggy Pop – AKA ‘The Godfather of Punk’ – fills a gap in the market for playing the most wide-ranging music genres. And, of course, he has the most amazing radio voice: rich, deep and weathered. The perfect listen if you’re after some new and exotic music to add to your Spotify playlist.
BBC Radio 6 Music, Fridays, 7pm
Friday Night Is Music Night
The world's longest-running live orchestral music programme on radio, featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra and broadcast from locations throughout the UK. Whether its Mark Kermode’s favourite soundtrack classics, Shirley Ballas’s music for dancing, or an episode that celebrates Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra, each week the programme aims to live up to its title.
BBC Radio 2, Fridays, 8pm
Saturday Night At The Movies
Film scores are one of the best untapped sources of music. From composers Hans Zimmer to John Williams, host Andrew Collins talks his listeners through some of the greatest cinematic scores of all time – a highlight in the Classic FM repertoire.
Classic FM, Saturdays, 5pm
Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone
Get ready to settle in for adventures in underground and experimental music. In addition to this weekly BBC 6 Music show, Stuart also presents Radcliffe and Maconie with Mark Radcliffe from 1-4pm weekdays on 6 Music and many documentaries for BBC Radio 2. Expect old classics, new bands and plenty of music-related anecdotes.
BBC 6 Music, Sundays, 8pm
Don Letts’s Culture Clash
In this late-night programme, ‘The Don’ blends his favourite new music with a selection of certified sounds from the UK, Jamaica, USA, Europe, Africa and beyond. Each episode, he also highlights a piece of ‘Crucial Vinyl’, a cherished album from his own collection. A great way to end the week.
BBC 6 Music, Sundays, 10pm