Steve Wright in the Afternoon
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|Other names||The Big Show|
|Running time||3 hours|
Janey Lee Grace
The Old Woman
|Recording studio||Western House, London|
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 2
|Audio format||88–91 FM, DAB digital radio, TV and online|
|Website||Official BBC Website|
|Podcast||Steve Wright in the Afternoon - The Big Podcast|
Steve Wright in the Afternoon is the name of the current afternoon show on BBC Radio 2, hosted by Steve Wright. The show is one of the most popular on the station, and is often referred to as The Big Show. The show is broadcast from 14:00 until 17:00 Monday to Friday.
The show originally started on Radio 1 in the 1980s where it ran successfully for a number of years until ending in 1993. Steve Wright then worked on other shows for the network before leaving the BBC for several years. In this period, he worked at Talk Radio, and at GWR presenting a networked weekend show. He finally moved back to the BBC at Radio 2 in 1996. He started as a weekend presenter hosting a Saturday morning show (later taken over by Jonathan Ross) and Sunday morning's Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs. Steve Wright in the Afternoon was revived in 1999 following a shake-up at Radio 2 and Wright now presents the show every Monday to Friday from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. It has built up a huge following and was given its own podcast in 2006 as part of a trial period. This is still available every week with highlights from the show.
The Show follows the zoo format, with Steve Wright as the host, and co-presenters Tim Smith and Janey Lee Grace, as well as input from news and travel presenters on the day. There is also a character called 'The Old Woman'; no-one knows her identity, but there are many rumours circulating on the internet as to her true identity. Other spoof characters include 'Barry from Watford' (the octogenarian lifestyle coach - played by the actor Alex Lowe) and 'Elvis', who appears in the feature Ask Elvis.
The show begins at 14:00 with the show's main theme. Unlike most shows, it is well established as being a "brand", with its own unique style of presentation, although Steve regularly uses the standard BBC Radio 2 jingles along with jingles unique to the show, written and performed by AJ Music Productions. Guests regularly appear on the show, often to plug a new TV show or movie.
When other presenters stand in for Steve Wright in the Afternoon, the stand-in host does "their own thing", rather than replicating the normal show. The show's theme and jingles are not played, and otherwise regular features (such as the factoids) are not used. For example, the most recent stand in Mark Goodier has been known to use an instrumental version of Chic's Happy Man as background music, and during the 3-3:30pm slot he does six songs, one from each decade beginning in the 1960s onwards, plus two that are the choice of the listeners, all of which relate to a theme such as weddings or water. In the past, stand in presenters have included Mark Radcliffe, Aled Jones, Craig Charles, Liza Tarbuck, Dale Winton, Richard Allinson, Sara Cox and Tony Blackburn. More recently, alongside the aformentioned Mark Goodier, the regular stand-in hosts have been Patrick Kielty, Jo Whiley, Chris Tarrant, Jonathan Ross and Al Murray.
Some regular features include;
- "Non-Stop Oldies", which is a mixtape of around six songs submitted by a particular viewer, often with sentimental value. Contrary to the segment's name, some of the songs played are not necessarily classified as oldies by the general public, as songs from as late as 2009 have played during the block. The songs are played with almost no breaks from 3:00 to 3:30pm every day.
- Factoids, short items of trivia. This segment was made into a 2006 book, Steve Wright's Book of Factoids
- "Do You Remember?": Once or twice a week, the team (normally two or three of Steve, Tim Smith, Bobbie Pryor or Janey Lee Grace) remember how things were when they were growing up. Subjects discussed have included TV programmes, cars, household appliances, food, and shopping amongst other things. Listeners often send in suggestions to contribute too.
- Barry from Watford: Approximately once a month, "elderly lifestyle guru" Barry from Watford (actually actor/comedian Alex Lowe) visits Steve and delivers his take on popular culture.
- Hands up: Steve asks 2 or 3 questions between his first and second song with a round of applause in the studio such as "Hands up if you are liking the warm weather?".
- Guest interviews, usually 2 or 3 per show.
- Big Shout Outs: Listeners send Steve messages via text or email. If the message is sensible and entertaining it may be read out. The likelihood of your message being read on air is greatly increased, if a phrase such as "Absolutely loving the Big Show" is included in the message. This feature is particularly enjoyed by bored workmen, spoof messages are often sent on behalf of their colleagues.
In mid-2014, Steve introduced a new Friday feature, "Serious Jockin'", where he plays tracks, often disco music and house music, back to back with listeners' texts and emails. The music ranges from 1950s to present-day and has an iTunes and BBC Music playlist. Whenever Mark Goodier fills in for Steve, he does a similar feature called "Serious Mixin'" which starts fifteen minutes earlier than Wright's block and is throughout the week instead of just on Fridays. This is along with entertainment news, music and chat, and news on the hour
As well, Steve often talks about his disdain for red trousers, which is signalled by a jingle of him shouting the phrase "Red Trousers!" with shock and fear, then screaming as a snippet of the Dragnet theme song plays in the background.
- "AJ Music Productions". AJ Music Productions. Retrieved 2013-05-18.