The Policy of Radio 2 in 2007

- supported by R2OK ! , the Radio 2 Preservation Society

Note: R2OK ! is a listeners' group which has no official connection with the Radio 2 station or the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

BBC Radio 2 is available on 88–91 FM, DAB digital radio, digital satellite (channel 1002), digital cable, Freeview and online at

This is a summary of a previous Statement of Programme Policy (SOPP), published by the BBC in 2007, relating to BBC Radio 2:

BBC RADIO 2 Service Remit was stated then as: BBC Radio 2 is a distinctive mixed music and speech service, targeted at a broad audience which aims to appeal to all age groups over 35. It offers entertaining popular music programmes and speech-based content including news, current affairs, documentaries, religion, arts, comedy, readings and social action output.

Service priorities:

Radio 2 aims to broadcast a popular range of audio and associated digital content, of quality and innovation, to a large and diverse audience. Within this context, the musical output will cover an extensive range of genres, and the news, current affairs and documentaries will aim to help listeners understand and engage practically with the modern world.

For the year ahead, Radio 2's key priorities include:

  • Develop further the Radio 2 Music Club to offer a substantial range of enhancements to our coverage of music.
    - Radio 2 will add new elements to its audio output in such areas as the visualisation of live music, offering greater depth of content as well as exposing the audience to new technologies.
  • Build upon the success of the Out to Lunch comedy series by commissioning further series and spin-offs for outstanding new talent. We will act in partnership with BBC Television wherever possible.
    - Radio 2 is key to the support and development of new comedy formats, writing and performance within the BBC portfolio. Working with BBC Television will ensure that the results of this creativity are brought to the largest available audience.
  • Maintain our commitment to live music output, covering key UK and international music events, and presenting concerts and studio sessions.
    - Radio 2 enables audiences to enjoy, explore and participate in music-making. The development of new songwriting and live performance, and the encouragement of new artists, especially those from the UK, are all essential components.

How the service meets each BBC purpose

Stimulating creativity and cultural excellence

Radio 2's programmes will cover a wide range of musical genres, with the social and cultural context of the music explored through documentaries. Radio 2 will support new songwriting, live performance and new and established artists, especially those from the UK. We will support comedy by developing new talent in writing and performance. Regular arts coverage will explore contemporary music, theatre, writing and film.

We will commission a Sixties Summer season that celebrates 1967 as a pivotal year in the history of popular culture with the release of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the Monterey pop festival, where Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Otis Redding all emerged. It was also the year that saw the arrival of Radio 1 and Radio 2, and a series of documentaries will be commissioned, culminating in a special 40th birthday schedule celebrating iconic radio programmes from the past.

We will further develop the Radio 2 Music Club Presents... series offering a platform for new British and international artists to showcase their talent in front of a live, intimate audience, with output in shows such as Dermot O'Leary's.

Specifically this year Radio 2 will:

  • Broadcast a broader range of music than any other major UK radio station, with over 1,100 hours of specialist music programmes
  • Broadcast over 60 hours of musical theatre and film music.
  • Broadcast over 100 hours of arts programming
  • Contribute to BBC Radio's commitment to commission at least 10% of eligible hours of output from independent producers.

Sustaining citizenship and civil society:

  • Radio 2 will provide accurate, impartial and independent coverage of UK and international events in a style appropriate to its audience. We will help listeners understand social and political issues so that they can participate in debate and become more active citizens. We will broadcast regular news bulletins, and an accessible, interactive current affairs programme each weekday.
  • In documentaries, we will reflect upon the changing attitudes and lifestyles in our society over recent generations. These will include an examination of the women's movement in I Am Woman, and a look at the legacy of 25 years of Aids. And in His Hands, the impact of domestic violence will be explored through music and the experiences of its victims.
  • This year, Radio 2 is committed to providing: Over 800 hours of news and original current affairs programming, including regular news bulletins

Promoting education and learning:

  • Radio 2 will support pan-BBC learning initiatives and work with partners on social action campaigns. We will promote informal learning through documentaries that provide an understanding of the context in which music is created. We will stimulate learning and participation in music through broadcast programmes, workshops and online interactivity, and through awards and support for new artists.
  • The Radio 2 Music Club will promote the exploration of musical genres by encouraging the public to share their musical recommendations online and will aim to develop public involvement in the debate and discussion of new and familiar music. The Radio 2 Music Club will also expand the public experience of a live orchestra event by offering contemporary digital content around our occasional Friday Night with... series, where a high-profile contemporary performer takes part in a special Friday Night is Music Night concert.
  • We will participate, through special programming and events, in a BBC initiative to encourage the public to learn a musical instrument. We will also join in a pan-BBC campaign to increase understanding of environmental issues, particularly related to tackling global warming.
  • This year we will: Broadcast a schedule which is around one-third speech output.

Representing the UK's nations, regions and communities: Radio 2's coverage of music - including live performance - its documentaries, arts programmes, current affairs and religious output will reflect the diversity of the UK.

  • Radio 2 will facilitate the growth of communities of interest through its music output, with learning, participation and debate. Radio 2 will bring people together for selected UK-wide events.
  • We will commission a documentary tracking the history of roots reggae, explaining exactly the tenets of the Rastafarian faith and its consequent influence on music.
  • We will be the audio partner for A Concert for Diana, a live event that will be a national celebration, drawing on the music that inspired the Princess, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of her death.
  • This year Radio 2 will: Broadcast at least 170 hours of religious output covering a broad range of faiths.

    Emerging communications: In addition to analogue broadcasting, Radio 2 is available on DAB and via digital television, and is streamed on the internet. Some programmes are available on demand after broadcast, extending the life of the programmes by making them accessible to listeners for whom a linear schedule is not convenient.

    Performance measurement framework

    • Reach: Radio 2 should contribute towards the maintenance of combined BBC weekly reach for all BBC services at over 90% by aiming to maintain its own weekly reach, particularly among its stated target audience.
    • Quality: Audience approval of Radio 2 and perceptions of it as high quality and innovative. Also, the proportion of originated programmes across all hours (including repeats).
    • Impact: Audience perceptions of Radio 2 as engaging and challenging.
    • Value for money: Radio 2's cost per listener hour.

    the BBC website has a page with fuller details at SOPP2007/2008

    the previous policy statement was summarised at SOPP2006

  • Acknowledgements:

    this page first published 1 November 2006
    last updated 3 May 2008

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