Broadcasting House (radio programme)
|Running time||54 minutes|
|Home station||BBC Radio 4|
|Host(s)||Eddie Mair 1998–2003
Fi Glover 2003–2006
Paddy O'Connell 2006–present
|Air dates||since 1998|
Broadcasting House or "BH" takes itself less seriously than other Radio 4 news programmes. It was launched in 1998. Early examples of BH irreverence include the "The Donald Rumsfeld Soundbite of the Week" and "Martin Jarvis Reads 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'". (The latter being the actor Martin Jarvis reading the six words "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", designed to poke fun at the amount of time Radio 4 had been devoting to Harry Potter and to readings, of anything and everything, by Martin Jarvis.)
More recent send ups have included a "Theatrical Arrest" prompted by remarks made by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett and a spoof campaign call to some young children after the Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg decided send a recorded message to voters in marginal constituencies.
There is a weekly quiz, with a cryptic sound clue pointing to a news event in the last week. The prize is a spoon, originally a Jam Spoon but now been replaced by a Honey Spoon. The programme makes frequent visits to the BH beehive based in South West London. The competition was nominated for a Sony Award in 2007.
More serious features include the headlines and current affairs sections, which look at the background to recent news stories. There is also a review of the Sunday papers with guest reviewers.
Broadcasting House's original presenter was Eddie Mair who left the programme on becoming the regular sole presenter of PM in 2003. After a period with no regular presenter, Fi Glover replaced Mair at the beginning of 2004. Matthew Bannister was the first stand-in presenter when Glover went on maternity leave, but on gaining his own new obituary strand on Radio 4, Last Word, most editions of BH in the spring/summer of 2006 were presented by Working Lunch and BBC Three presenter Paddy O'Connell. Glover did not return, instead taking on the Saturday 9am slot with Saturday Live, and on 30 August 2006, O'Connell was named as the new regular host of BH.