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Radio 2 unveils new schedules, puts its organ into storage

By | Published on Thursday 11 January 2018

BBC Radio 2

Radio 2 yesterday announced a schedule revamp that will see Jo Whiley join Simon Mayo in the drive time slot and Sara Cox host a new daily late night show. Bosses will be hoping those changes in particular might placate critics who have often pointed out just how male-dominated the BBC station’s schedule can be. Even though it still is.

Elsewhere in the revamp, which kicks in later this year, former Radio 1 DJ Gary Davies will take over from Cox as host of the station’s ‘Sound Of The 80s’ programme. And existing specialist shows focused on blues, jazz, folk and country will shift into a new 8-9pm slot, with Cerys Matthews joining the station to host the weekly blues hour.

Meanwhile, it’s bad news for fans of organs and brass bands, because current shows ‘The Organist Entertains’ and ‘Listen To The Band’ will not feature in the new schedule.

The former has been a fixture on the station since 1969, so probably best to get it out of the way before anyone feels the need to celebrate its 50th birthday. I’m sure organ fans are all locked into ‘The World’s Greatest Organs’ playlist on Spotify these days anyway. If not, the Beeb reassured the Radio Times that they occasionally let organs play on Radio 3, so everyone should shut up.

“These changes herald another stage of the evolution of Radio 2”, said the station’s head Lewis Carnie yesterday. “Simon and Jo are two of the network’s most popular presenters, and I’m delighted that they will unite in this exciting partnership to present a new show. Sara’s new evening show will provide the network, for the first time in many years, with a truly interactive show to end the day”.

Truly interactive hey, that sounds like fun. Perhaps Cox could interact with her listeners by playing them a few tunes on the organ.