The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show

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The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show
BBC Radio 6 Music 2022.svg
GenreFunk and soul music
Running time3 hours (Saturday, 18:00-21:00)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Home stationBBC Radio 6 Music
Hosted byCraig Charles
Produced by
Recording studioMedia City, Salford
Original release15 March 2002 – present
Audio formatDigital radio, TV and internet
Opening theme"Homeboy", Maceo Parker
WebsiteBBC Funk & Soul Show

The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show is a British radio programme, broadcast on BBC Radio 6 Music on Saturdays, between 6 pm and 9 pm, and from 2016 until 2022 between 10 pm and 12 midnight on BBC Radio 2 (dubbed the Craig Charles House Party). The Radio 6 Music show is presented live by Craig Charles and produced by Simon Hodge, Ben Appleyard and Ellen Orchard for TBI Media. All varieties of funk and soul music are played, from classic tracks to contemporary releases.[1] It is the longest-running show on BBC Radio 6 Music.[2]

Programme format[edit]

The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show plays classic and contemporary funk and soul music, as well as other genres such as Northern Soul, rhythm and blues, jazz, blues, gospel and hip hop.

The programme also includes interviews with artists, as well as text messages and phone-ins from listeners.


Regular features on the BBC6 Music show:

  • Talcum Time – a listener's three favourite Northern Soul songs played in a row.
  • Trunk of Funk – playing 30 minutes of back to back funk hits.
  • The History of Women in Funk and Soul – each week a well-known female funk and soul musician is chosen, with three tracks played.
  • Spinage au Trois – a listener chooses their three favourite tracks to be played back to back.

Occasional features on the BBC6 Music show:

  • Fight Club – a well-known challenger takes on Charles' record collection, song against song, in themed rounds.
  • 6 On 6 In 6 – a guest chooses six songs which are played in six minutes, with one song being played in full.
  • Version Excursion – a great dance tune or remix at least 10 minutes long.

On the BBC Radio 2 show:

  • New to 2 – a track not previously played on Radio 2.
  • Secret Soul Boy / Secret Soul Sister – a celebrity reveals their love of soul music by choosing tracks to be played.
  • Cover From Another Brother/Mother and You Heard it Here First – a cover of a well known song played back to back with the original version of a song made famous by a cover
  • Additionally, Talcum Time is sometimes included on Radio 2 too.

Former BBC 6 Music show features include:

  • Slow Cooking – a listener's choice of romantic 'Get a Room Tune'.
  • Cover From Another Brother/Mother – a cover version of a well-known track.
  • The A to Z of Funk – listeners suggest songs, bands, record labels or anything else beginning with the letter of the week.
  • World Funk Airways – educating listeners about funk bands from around the world.
  • Choir Practice – playing a listener's two favourite gospel tracks in a row.
  • The History of Black Music From 1899 – explaining the importance of the early track played.
  • Songs You Don't KnowLack of Afro asks listeners for further information on the obscure track played.
  • 52 Weeks of Funk – a year-long countdown of Charles' favourite funk records.
  • Hammond Time – Greg Boraman chooses a track for the Hammond organ.
  • Soul Mining – the listening public dig deep for funk or soul records by artists they wouldn't expect to hear on the show.
  • Betty's Hotpot – playing songs by 'Bettys', inspired by Betty Driver who played Betty Williams in Coronation Street.
  • Sub Zero – a 'cool' funk or soul album is chosen, from which three tracks are played during the show.
  • Re-souled covers – each week a different band performs a session and records a cover version of their chosen track from the featured album.
  • Funk Log – highlighting a funk track originating from a different country.
  • Facts of Funk – Charles profiles a group which is added to the dictionary, to show the diversity of the music.
  • Three of a Kind – an in-depth look at a classic record label.
  • Sample City – Charles demonstrates the funk roots of his favourite hip-hop artists.

Occasional specials, such as 'The History of Black American Music from 1945'[3] and 'The History of the Stax Record Label', feature the house band, The History Teachers, composed of Angelo Starr (vocals), Mick Talbot (keyboard), Ernie McKone (base guitar), Crispin Taylor (drums) and Julian Burdock (electric guitar).

Notable guests[edit]

Special guests have included James Brown, George Clinton, Gil Scott-Heron, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, Fred Wesley, Booker T, Chuck Brown and Candi Staton, along with members of bands such as Sly and the Family Stone, Kool & The Gang, The Isley Brothers and The Temptations. British artists have included Soul II Soul, Paul Weller and Primal Scream, James Taylor Quartet, The New Mastersounds, The Brand New Heavies, Cymande, Smoove & Turrell, Bluey of Incognito and Amy Winehouse.[4][5]

Production and history[edit]

The BBC 6 Music logo at the time of its launch, used from 2002 to 2007 when the radio show began
The second logo of BBC Radio 6 Music used afterwards from 2008 to 2022

The show is produced by TBI Media productions[6] since March 2011. In November 2011, the show began broadcasting from studios at the newly built MediaCityUK site, at Salford Quays, Greater Manchester,[7] having relocated from the BBC Manchester Headquarters at New Broadcasting House in Manchester City Centre. The show has also aired from other BBC locations around the UK, and occasionally live from festival sites.[8]

The programme was first broadcast on Friday 15 March 2002, during the first week of the station's launch, and was originally known as The Craig Charles Funk Show. In the early years of the network, the show aired twice weekly, on Friday and Saturday nights.[9] The previous production company, from September 2006 until March 2011, was Demus Productions, with Hermeet Chadha as a producer and co-presenter, and the programme was also previously produced by Henry Lopez-Real.

The Fantasy Funk Band[edit]

In 2007, as a long-running feature, Charles asked the show's listeners to vote for their perfect British funk band line-up.[10] In 2009, to celebrate 75 years of the prestigious BBC Maida Vale Studios, Charles formed the Fantasy Funk Band from their suggestions. The band originally featured James Taylor of the James Taylor Quartet (Hammond organ), The Haggis Horns (horns), Eddie Roberts of New Mastersounds (guitar), Ernie McKone of Push (bass), Mike Bandoni of Funkshone (drums), John Turrell of Smoove and Turrell (male vocals), Dionne Charles of Baby Charles (female vocals), Chip Wickham (baritone sax/flute) and Snowboy (percussions /music director).[11][12]

In 2010, the band's performances included Glastonbury, the Big Chill and Bingley festivals. In September 2010, Mick Talbot of The Style Council (Rhodes piano) joined the band and Leigh Gracie of Speedometer (guitar) replaced Eddie Roberts. In February 2012, the band came together again at the Maida Vale Studios, to rehearse and record an album in celebration of BBC 6 Music's 10th anniversary. Guest singers included The Magic Numbers, Lisa Stansfield, Omar, John Turrell, Jasmine Kara, Beverley Knight and Pat Kane of Hue and Cry.[13] At Christmas, they played a concert at The Spiegeltent, Bristol.[14]

The line-up for 2013 consisted of Mick Talbot (Hammond and Fender Rhodes), Snowboy (Percussion), Mark Van der Gucht (Guitar), Atholl Ransome (Saxophone and Flute) and Jim Corry (Tenor Saxophone) and Malcolm Strachan (Trumpet) of The Haggis Horns, Ernie McKone (Bass), Mike Bandoni (Drums), John Turrell (vocals) and Ria Currie (vocals).[15] They played a variety of live events during the summer, including the Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul festival, Craig Charles' Fantasy Weekender,[16] and the BBC's Last Night 'Proms in the Park', with further appearances planned for 2014.[17]

The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club[edit]

Since 2008, Charles has continuously toured The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club, performing live DJ sets at nightclubs, festivals and special events throughout the UK, and beyond. Charles plays a mixture of well-known, classic funk and soul tracks, usually covered and remixed by current leading bands and DJs, along with the latest new danceable songs.[18][19] Residencies have included Band on the Wall[20] in Manchester, The Wardrobe[21] and The Elbow Room in Leeds, Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes and Brixton Jamm in London, and The Lanes and Motion in Bristol.

Festivals have included Glastonbury (where Charles has also introduced acts and interviewed artists for BBC TV),[22] WOMAD, The Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Kendal Calling, Big Chill, Limetree, Vintage at Goodwood and the Wickerman Festival, and Charles plays other diverse events such as Soundcrash Boat Parties and the SFX Weekender sci-fi convention. As well as performing as a DJ, Charles has compered and curated a day of the Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul Festival, since the festival opened in 2010,[23] and his band, The Fantasy Funk Band, also took to the stage in 2013. In 2013, Charles hosted his own festival, The Craig Charles Fantasy Weekender,[24] where fellow 6 Music DJ Gilles Peterson also played. International gigs in 2013 included Australia,[25] Croatia,[26] Ibiza and Dubai.

Charles' first compilation album, The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club, was released on Freestyle Records in 2012, in CD and digital download format, with a second volume following in 2013.[27][28] To date (November 2018), six volumes have been released, together with a CD entitled Craig Charles' Soul and Funk Classics. The albums showcase music from leading artists of the genre that is played at the clubnights.


  1. ^ "BBC Radio 6 Music - The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  2. ^ "Five minutes with Craig Charles". Wales Online. 17 August 2011.
  3. ^ Baird, Emrys (Winter 2012). "Craig Charles: Who's a Clever Funker". Blues and Soul magazine.
  4. ^ "Opening the funk trunk, by Will Hodgkinson". The Guardian. London. 23 January 2004.
  5. ^ "BBC Media Centre Programme Information". 24 December 2011.
  6. ^ "TBI Media Homepage". Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  7. ^ Clarkson, Stuart (14 November 2011). "BBC 6 Music teams move into MediaCityUK". Radio Today.
  8. ^ "6 Music to broadcast from The Big Chill Festival". BBC press release. 22 July 2011.
  9. ^ "Champion of Funk Soul Brothers". The Independent. London. 7 March 2005. Archived from the original on 18 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Craig Charles presesnts The Fantasy Funk Band Show Reel". YouTube. 9 February 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Craig Charles: The funk, the whole funk and nothin' but the funk, by Lee Tyler". Blues and Soul magazine. May 2010.
  12. ^ "The Fantasy Funk Band, by Emrys Baird". Blues and Soul magazine. August 2010.
  13. ^ "The Fantasy Funk Band - NEW!!! - SnowboySnowboy". 20 March 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  14. ^ Baird, Emrys (2012). "Craig Charles Fantasy Funk Band". Blues and Soul magazine.
  15. ^ "The Funk Band Craig Charles Dared to Create". BBC.
  16. ^ "Music in Bristol - Craig Charles' Fantasy Weekender". Bristol Post. 23 August 2013.
  17. ^ "The Fantasy Funk Band". Bite The Apple Artist and Management Agency.
  18. ^ Garwood, Emma R. (October 2013). "Interview with Craig Charles". Outline Magazine.
  19. ^ "Charles, speaking to Simon Fitzpatrick and Ema Lea". Planet Smeg. 2010.
  20. ^ "Craig Charles < Artists". Band on the Wall. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  21. ^ "Craig Charles Funk 'n' Soul Club Feat. Bongolian | The Wardrobe, Leeds". Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  22. ^ Leigh, Rob (27 June 2013). "How to watch Glastonbury on TV and online". The Mirror.
  23. ^ "Mostly Jazz at Moseley Park". The Hearing Aid. 5 July 2010.
  24. ^ Roberts, Bethany (27 August 2013). "Fantasy Weekender Bristol Review". Supajam.
  25. ^ "Night at the Jazz Rooms meet Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club". Soul of Sydney. 31 January 2013.
  26. ^ "Soundwave Festival Croatia 2013 Announces Eclectic Full Lineup..." Contact music. 2013.
  27. ^ "The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club". Freestyle Records.
  28. ^ "The Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club 2, on Soundcloud". Freestyle Records. Retrieved 13 November 2013.

External links[edit]