Radio 5 live to broadcast a heart transplant in real time

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

BBC Radio 5 live will broadcast a heart operation in real time tomorrow in what’s thought to be a radio ‘first’.

The MediaCityUK-based station will take listeners through the live-saving operation at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham for a special broadcast, Heart Transplant Day. Leeds-based Wire Free Productions is behind the idea.

Coverage will start with Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden’s breakfast show, with audio from each stage of the procedure to follow across the day.

The 5 live team first visited the hospital a few months ago, with the Afternoon Edition show presented live from its coronary care unit.

Presenter Chris Warburton in the operating theatre on an earlier visitPresenter Chris Warburton in the operating theatre on an earlier visit

Chris Warburton, who presented that day, will again be involved tomorrow, as will 5 live Daily with Adrian Chiles, when the operation will begin, before culminating during the Afternoon Edition show. The phone lines will then be opened to get reaction from listeners.

Jonathan Wall, controller of 5 live, said: "This is an exciting day for the 5 live team and it is the culmination of months of hard work.

"When Wire Free Productions brought the idea to us we knew it would be a challenge but the content they produced has been amazing.

“For us to be allowed access into a working operation theatre and bring it to ‘on air’ was incredible. It gave us the opportunity to present listeners with an insight that most rarely have into such a procedure. We hope that the whole radio day will help to create more of an awareness of how vital organ donation is.”

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