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Radio 3 responds to new competitor with a schedule refresh

As a new classical music rival prepares to launch, BBC Radio 3 gives its schedules a youthful refresh.

Facing up to having not one, but two commercial rivals, the BBC has announced it will be revamping parts of Radio 3's schedule from April:

▶ This Classical Life, presented by 20 year old saxophonist Jess Gillam, will be introduced into the schedule in a 12.30pm-1pm Saturday slot.
▶ Record Review will run from 9am-11.45am, and Music Matters will move slightly earlier, from 11.45am-12.30pm.
▶ Hear And Now becomes New Music Show, presented by Tom Service and Kate Molleson.
▶The Listening Service to receive an additional slot on the station, from 4.30pm-5pm on Fridays.

A revamped Saturday schedule features a brand new weekly programme This Classical Life, fronted by rising star saxophonist Jess Gillam, who recently wowed audiences at the Baftas and was the highlight of the Last Night Of The BBC Proms in 2018.

Saturday mornings exploring music on BBC Radio 3 will be complemented by a new second slot on the station for The Listening Service on Friday afternoons at 4:30pm. Presented by Tom Service, the programme will set the tone for weekend on the station, bringing listeners of all ages on a musical odyssey and providing new insight into the inner-workings of music.

Other programming announced today include Opera Fix, a four-part Classical Fix special on Sunday evenings presented by soprano Danielle de Niese, beginning on the 11th March. Recorded at English National Opera, the programme will aim to demystify opera for the uninitiated. BBC Asian Network presenter Bobby Friction, comedian London Hughes and journalist and filmmaker Ben Zand will be the first to receive their opera inductions from Danni.

Alan Davey, Controller BBC Radio 3 commented:
I want audiences to know that when you come to BBC Radio 3, you can really get beneath the skin of the music and hear insights that will change your perspective on the world in a way that is both entertaining as well as informative. We want to provide a space to take time out and experience great music by great performers, broadcasting full-length concerts and offering insight from people who know what it means to perform these works. These new presenting names and programming that gives the listener time to be with the music will do just that.

Radio 3 will now compete with DAB station Scala Radio from next month, as well as Classic FM.