Radio 5 'going out with a bang': Station wins praise but no reprieve

LIZ FORGAN, managing director of BBC Radio, said yesterday that Radio 5, which is being axed in April to make way for a news and sports network, was producing 'stunning programmes' and was 'definitely going out with a bang, not a whimper'.

Asked whether this meant Radio 5 should be kept going, Ms Forgan said its attempt to cater for three sectors - children, sports fans and schools - made it impossible to build a proper audience. Though the programmes had always been marvellous, nothing had changed to reverse the decision. Pat Ewing, Radio 5's controller, expects to leave the BBC.

Ms Forgan, speaking at the launch of BBC Radio's New Year programme, said she hoped that a lot of the staff, especially those making drama programmes, would transfer to other jobs in radio. However, the new recruitment at present is for journalists to staff the news and sport network, and very few programmes, if any, are expected to transfer to other channels.

New Year programmes from Radio 5 include a dramatisation of Graham Greene's Brighton Rock, The Wind in the Willows, starring Willie Rushton as Mr Toad, and The Jungle Book, to celebrate the book's centenary. Robert Kee is also continuing his history of the 20th century, A Century Remembered, with a look at the 1930s.

Radio 3, praised by Ms Forgan for its efforts to become more accessible, is starting a new afternoon programme for 15 to 16-year-olds called The Music Machine. Beginning on 4 January, it will examine all sorts of music - including folk, pop and rock - treating them as equals. There is also a festival of John Tavener's music during the weekend of 21-24 January.

Radio 1 - whose new line-up, featuring Steve Wright on the breakfast show, begins on 10 January - is running a special documentary, Not Fade Away, celebrating 30 years of Top of the Pops. There are also documentaries on the Beatles, the role of women in pop music and an archive selection of The Who and The Smiths.

Radio 1's audience, 17 million a week in September 1993, is 2 million down on the 1992 figure - a trend the changes are not expected to reverse.

Radio 4 is dramatising Oliver Twist, beginning on Thursday 3 February at 10am on FM, while its classic serial for January will be Sir Walter Scott's Waverley, set in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. Janet Suzman is to star in a six-part dramatisation of the biography of George, Lord Byron.

There are also new game shows: Darling, You Were Marvellous and Women's Troubles, chaired by Frances Edmonds, which gives panellists the chance to be agony aunts.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
News
Clarke Carlisle
sport
Sport
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
News
Coca-Cola has become one of the largest companies in the world to push staff towards switching off their voicemails, in a move intended to streamline operations and boost productivity
peopleCoca-Cola staff urged to switch it off to boost productivity
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'