BBC Radio 5 live unveils spring schedule and commentator contest

Simon Austin's picture
by Simon Austin

BBC Radio 5 live has announced a raft of new commissions and a nationwide hunt for the UK’s best young commentator.

The spring 2016 schedule will include programmes fronted by Gabby Logan, Rob Rinder and BBC arts editor Will Gompertz.

The latest Rajar figures showed 5 live's audience had increased from 5.53million listeners to 5.93million for the previous three months, arresting a previous decline.

August 2015's Rajars showed listener numbers had dropped 960,000 from the same point in the previous year.

The new commissions are:

  • A series looking at fertility hosted by Anna Foster, focussing on pregnancy and birth.
  • A “real time” broadcast of a post-mortem.
  • Spin-off to Wake Up to Money, looking into the business of sport, fronted by Adam Parsons.
  •  A series of audio-diaries recorded by junior doctors working in the NHS
  • New series of Raising the Bar, lifting the lid on the legal world, presented by Rob 'Judge' Rinder.
  •  A series looking at the state of the arts across the country presented by BBC arts editor Will Gompertz.
  •  New series of All About Property, hosted by Gabby Logan.

Jonathan Wall, Controller of BBC Radio 5 live, said: “Telling stories and hearing from people across the UK is at the heart of our schedule at BBC Radio 5 live.

"Our ambition is to tell more stories from more people and places than any other station in the country."

BBC Radio 5 live will also launch a nationwide search for the Young Sports Commentator of the Year.

Young people between 11 and 15 will be able to win the chance to shadow a BBC Radio 5 live commentator, have a go at describing a sporting event themselves and have their commentary feature on BBC Radio 5 live.

Wall was runner-up the last time the BBC ran a similar national competition in the 1980s.

He said: “It proved to be the start of my career, even though I was ultimately pipped at the post for the prize!

“I’m delighted to bring the competition back and encourage all budding sports broadcasters to get involved.”