Up All Night (radio show)

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Up All Night
Genre News
Running time Monday - Sunday
01:00 - 05:00
Country United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 5 Live
Starring Rhod Sharp (Monday - Wednesday)
Dotun Adebayo (Thursday - Sunday)
Recording studio MediaCityUK, Salford, Greater Manchester, UK
Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA
Air dates since 1994
Audio format FM, AM and Digital radio
Website Official website

Up All Night is a programme broadcast on the national radio station BBC Radio 5 Live in the United Kingdom, and is on air between the hours of 01:00 and 05:00 every night. It is also broadcast on most of the BBC's local radio frequencies across England as well as on Radio Scotland, Radio Cymru and Radio Ulster.

The Washington Post once described the show as probably the best night-time radio show in the world.[1]


Up All Night has been broadcast continuously since Radio 5 Live's launch on 28 March 1994. One of the show's two main presenters, Rhod Sharp, had proposed the idea of an all-night radio show for the new station that made use of the BBC's correspondents from all over the world.[2] He has continued to present several shows each week ever since. Dotun Adebayo is the show's second main presenter, hosting the show from Friday night to Sunday night. Previous presenters included Richard Dallyn, Dalya Raphael and Russell Fuller.

Broadcast locations[edit]

Originally broadcast from studios at Broadcasting House, London, along with the rest of the BBC Radio 5 Live scheduled programmes the production was moved to MediaCityUK, Salford, Greater Manchester in 2012.

After 9/11 where he reported for BBC News, while taking a sabbatical Sharp and his wife fell in love with the fishing town of Marblehead, Massachusetts, in the United States. Since 2004 he has presented his part of the show (Monday to Wednesday), from the town. Initially using the studio's and ISDN line of local radio station WESX,[3] since 2007 he has presented the show from a home studio within the couple's 18th-century house in Marblehead’s Old Town section.[1][2] Broadcasting from the United States makes Sharp "pretty unique" among BBC radio hosts, according to BBC deputy news director Stephen Mitchell.[2]


The show has a heavy interest in the United States and often features news and interviews from there. The Super Bowl has also been broadcast in an extended programme; this however is streamed from another provider and cannot be broadcast live on the Internet for copyright reasons.

The programme has launched a couple of Twitter pages and has a group on Facebook. Some elements of the programme are available to download podcast. Namely; the Naked Scientists, Outriders (formerly Pods and Blogs), World Football Phone-In and Dr Karl.

Special features[edit]

The programme has gained a cult audience because of its off-beat approach to the news combined with various regular features:

  • Monday: Science news produced by Cambridge University's Dr Chris Smith, the Naked Scientists
  • Tuesday: On The Hill, a regular look at the week in American politics and Outriders which reports on the world of digital communications
  • Wednesday: Game On, video game culture explored. This is the BBC's only dedicated games focussed strand and has been produced in its current form since 2008
  • Thursday: Science questions to Dr Karl who joins the show from the Australian ABC network
  • Friday: New Music
  • Saturday: World Football Phone-In, with journalists Tim Vickery (South America), Sean Wheelock (North and Central America), Mina Rzouki (Europe) and Durosimi Thomas (Africa) covering some of the world's football hot beds
  • Sunday: Native New Yorkers, an hour of news and views from New York, featuring on air guests from the city.
  • Sunday: Virtual Jukebox, where callers suggest and then vote on a music track to be added to a growing list of tunes. A playlist is available on Spotify[4]

For many years from the beginning of the programme the film critic Dave Aldridge was a weekly contributor. He continues to report for the programme on films. From 2007 the programme pioneered a monthly live mental health phone-in with regular guest, Martin Seager, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and adult psychotherapist who heads an NHS psychological services department in the London area.


  1. ^ a b "BBC broadcaster to discuss ‘Avery’s Fall’ at Marblehead Museum". WickedLocal.com. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Joseph P. Kahn (3 August 2012). "The BBC, live from Marblehead". Boston Globe. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "WESX's 'international' era closes, too". WickedLocal.com. 26 April 2006. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Up All Night's Virtual Jukebox by upallnight5live Spotify

External links[edit]