BBC Sounds launch opens up Radio 4 comedy archive

Tuesday 30th October 2018, 8:13pm

  • BBC Radio Player has been replaced with BBC Sounds - offering up 80,000 hours of audio content
  • A number of archive comedy series are being made available alongside Radio 4's current offerings
  • Every episode of shows including The Shuttleworths, It's Jocelyn and Rudy's Rare Records can be streamed
TEZ Talks. Tez Ilyas. Copyright: BBC

BBC Radio Player has been replaced with BBC Sounds. The BBC says the system "brings together 80,000 hours of unmissable music, radio and podcasts, available live and on-demand in a personalised single app and website".

Notably for comedy fans, alongside carrying Radio 4's current comedy output - such as The Now Show - BBC Sounds will offer up a number of archive Radio 4 comedy series in box set and podcast formats.

Tez Talks, the stand-up show presented by Tez Ilyas (pictured), will be made available as a podcast. From November, comedy fans will be able to download both series to date, and the new third series too. Talking about the show, the BBC says: "Tez Talks is a podcast about life as a British Muslim. Everything you need to know is here - the do's, don'ts, and avoid-or-you'll-be-arresteds. It is simultaneously a hilarious, joyous take on British-Muslim life - and a thoughtful satire on society's attitudes to Islam."

Josie Long: Romance And Adventure. Josie (Josie Long). Copyright: BBC

Archive offerings made available on BBC Sounds will include the three series and specials of Alex Horne Presents The Horne Section; Josie Long: Romance And Adventure (pictured), the sitcom about a woman trying to build a new life in Glasgow; economics-based stand-up format Simon Evans Goes To Market; and both series of Ankle Tag, the current sitcom about a fraudster dad who is released on parole.

Bad Salsa. Image shows from L to R: Jill (Natasha Little), Terri (Camille Coduri), Chippy (Jessie Cave). Copyright: BBC

Bad Salsa (pictured), Kay Stonham's comedy that follows three women as they embrace the world of salsa while adjusting to life after cancer; science-based stand-up show Big Problems With Helen Keen; and both series of Bindi Business, the comedy drama starring Meera Syal as an entrepreneur are also due to be uploaded.

It's Jocelyn. Jocelyn Jee Esien. Copyright: BBC

Also in the offering is the two series of Jocelyn Jee Esien's sketch show It's Jocelyn (pictured); Jake Yapp's Media Circus from earlier this year; the impressionist-based comedy format Lewis Macleod Is Not Himself; and every episode of Rudy's Rare Records, the sitcom starring Larrington Walker and Lenny Henry.

Tom Wrigglesworth's Hang Ups. Tom (Tom Wrigglesworth). Copyright: BBC

The BBC has also confirmed every episode of The Tim Vine Chat Show; Tom Wrigglesworth's Hang Ups (pictured); The Guns Of Adam Riches; and Stephen K Amos's sitcom What Does The K Stand For? will be available to listen to.

John Shuttleworth. Graham Fellows

Also, all five series of The Shuttleworths, the sitcom starring Graham Fellows as Sheffield's favourite singer-songwriter John Shuttleworth (pictured) and his family will also be on BBC Sounds; alongside the John Shuttleworth's Open Mind episodes.

The news was announced at an event in London hosted by BBC Director-General Tony Hall.

Evil Genius with Russell Kane

The BBC also confirmed at this event that its podcast series Evil Genius With Russell Kane, GrownUpLand and Birthday Girls' House Party would return for another series.

Beef And Dairy Network. Benjamin Partridge

Notably, podcasts from other providers will also be published through BBC Sounds. At launch, offerings will include the back catalogues of The Guilty Feminist and The Beef And Dairy Network.

BBC Sounds

The comedy will sit alongside radio and music on BBC Sounds.

James Purnell, Director of Radio and Education, said: "BBC Sounds will bring you all our audio, at the touch of a button. We'll do the hard work of finding the right mix, podcast or radio programme for you. It's the start of an adventure - we'll learn from our audiences to keep improving what Sounds offers, so we can bring the best to everyone."

Bob Shennan, Director of Radio and Music, comments: "BBC Radio has always been brilliant at reinventing itself and BBC Sounds is the next chapter in that great tradition. We make the best radio, podcasts and offer the best music curation in the world and through BBC Sounds we can ensure more people than ever can enjoy that when and how they want."

BBC Sounds is available online at and can be downloaded for iOS, Android and Amazon.

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