About Radio 4

Radio 4 is a station for anyone interested in intelligent speech. Its schedule is packed with the most insightful journalism, the wittiest comedy, the most fascinating features and the most compelling drama and readings anywhere in UK radio.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find out information about a programme?

You can find a programme that has been broadcast or will be broadcast within seven days:

How do I contact a Radio 4 programme?

You may be able email a Radio 4 programme using their contact Us link on their programme page.


You can also write to programmes using the following address:

Programme Name,

Radio 4, BBC Broadcasting House,

London W1A 1AA


How do I contact Feedbacl

Feedback is the BBC Network Radio listeners' letters programme, produced for Radio 4 by an independent production company, presented by Roger Bolton.

Feedback's content is entirely directed by the telephone calls, letters, emails and faxes it receives from listeners.

Find out how to contact Feedback

How do I get tickets for a recording of a Radio 4 Programme?

There are many opportunities to be an audience member at the recording of Radio 4 programmes, especially comedy shows. Visit the BBC Tours and Show site for more details.


How can I get a CD or transcript of a programme?

Generally we do not produce transcripts for Radio 4 programmes.  There are a couple of exceptions e.g. In Touch, The Reith Lectures and Alistair Cooke's Letter From America. You can find a link to download these transcripts on the specific programme pages. 

Some Radio 4 programmes are available to buy in CD or digital download formats. Where titles are available links to a number of online retailers will usually appear on the relevant programme page.

Why is the Daily Service on Long Wave Only?

Radio 4 recognises that a group of its listeners value a daily worship programme. In order to provide a daily service for those who wanted it, as well as offering an alternative for those who don't, it was decided to split the network with the Daily Service being broadcast on Long Wave.

Long Wave was chosen for two reasons as the home for the Daily Service: LW is the signal which everyone can receive wherever they are in the UK, and LW usage amongst Daily Service listeners is slightly higher than among other Radio 4 listeners.

This is the Long Wave schedule

Why do you disrupt Radio 4 LW for Cricket Coverage?

Radio frequencies are allocated by the Government and Radio 4 is uniquely privileged in having two frequencies - FM and Long Wave. We have to use these frequencies to provide the best service to the greatest number of listeners.

Our research tells us that about two million people tune in to each match. It was therefore decided by the BBC's Board of Governors that the best option was to utilise Radio 4's Long Wave, with all the mainstream programming on FM. Most Radio 4 listeners choose to use the FM frequency rather than Long Wave when it is available, so this seemed to be the best use of our resources. Also, FM carries stereo, which is not necessary for cricket, but is, for example, for dramas. We can only apologise to those listeners who do not receive FM.

How can I promote a charity on the Radio 4 Appeal?

Charities wishing to feature on the Radio 4 Appeal should contact the BBC Appeals unit on 020 8008 1106.

How do I apply to host Gardeners' Question Time or Any Questions?

Anyone wanting to host the programe should complete the application form on the Gardeners' Question Time website.

Be warned - the waiting list is anything from 2 years upwards.

To apply to host Any Questions, write to the programme at: Room 6103, Broadcasting House, London, W1A 1AA or visit the Any Questions hosting page.

What is the music played before the late Shipping Forecast?

The music before the late-night shipping forecast is called Sailing By. It was composed by Ronald Binge, who wrote much other light music, notably Elizabethan Serenade. He also arranged Charmaine for Mantovani's orchestra. He died in 1979.

Sailing By's function on the network is to fill any airtime between the end of the late reading, at approximately 12.45am, and the shipping forecast at 12.48am, which mariners rightly expect us to transmit precisely on schedule. Very rarely, Sailing By might not be played at all because of time constraints. The version of Sailing By we use is not available commercially but you will find similar versions of the tune on CDs which feature the music of Ronald Binge.

See an animation about The Shipping Forecast

Can I still listen to or download A History of the World in 100 Objects?

All the A History of the World in 100 Objects programmes will remain available to listen to or download. You can listen to the programmes on the object pages.

Or on the Programmes page - select the week's theme to find the programmes.

There is also a book to accompany the series, written by Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum. This was published in October 2010 by Allen Lane and is available from most book retailers. ISBN - 978-1-846-14413-4.

How can I submit an idea for a programme or some music?

Generally, if it is an idea for an existing programme (such as Woman's Hour) you can email or write to the programme. Please contact the programme directly via their 'Contact Us' page, you can search for the programme you need on this A-Z list.

If it is an idea for a new programme (e.g. comedy or drama), you can consult the BBC Commissioning Guidelines.

If you would like to submit some music you can visit the BBC Introducing web site.


How do I listen to a Radio 4 programme on my computer?

You can listen to Radio 4 programmes on the Radio 4 website or you can download the iPlayer Radio app.


For technical questions, please visit the BBC Radio iPlayer Help.

How long do recordings stay on the website?

Most programmes are available for 30 days after broadcast. Many of these remain on the website for much longer. Find Radio 4 programmes by visiting the schedule.

Can I download Radio 4 programmes to my ipod or mp3 player?

Many Radio 4 programmes are available as mp3 downloads, also known as podcasts. These are files which you can download onto your computer or mp3 player to keep and listen to at any time.

You can find a list of Radio 4 downloads currently available on the BBC's podcast site. For more information about podcasts see podcasting help.

How to Listen

Listening to Radio 4

For information on the new iPlayer Radio launch and an opportunity to give feedback visit the iPlayer Radio Welcome page.

In the UK you can listen to Radio 4 in many ways: on a digital (DAB) or FM radio; on digital television; online through a computer; on a mobile phone; on an MP3 player.

Radio 4 can be found on the following channels, frequencies and websites:

  • DAB Listed as "BBC Radio 4", "BBC R4", or "Radio 4"
  • FM 92 - 95 FM, 103-105 FM
  • LW 198 Long Wave
  • MW Medium Wave is only available in some locations: London 720; Plymouth 774; Hayle (Cornwall) 756; Newcastle 603; Carlisle 1495; Aberdeen 1449; Enniskillen 774; Derry 720; Glasgow 720
  • Freeview Channel 704 (FM schedule only - the LW schedule is not broadcast on Freeview) (more info)
  • Freesat Channel 704 (FM schedule) and 710 (LW schedule)
  • SkyTV Channel 0104 (FM schedule) and 0143 (LW schedule)
  • Virgin Channel 904 (FM schedule) and 911 (LW schedule)

How can I listen online?

Listen live online, and listen to programmes broadcast in the past seven days at Radio 4's website (listen live by accessing the link in the top banner; catch up on a past programme by finding a programme in the schedule) or in the A-Z listing.

LW listen live is available here:  Long wave Listen Live

Long Wave programmes are not available to listen again on iPlayer Radio.

How can I listen on the move?

Listening on your Mobile Phone

If your mobile phone has an FM receiver, you can listen to Radio 4 on 92-95FM. If it has an MP3 player you can listen to podcasts of Radio 4 programmes.  

Many Radio 4 programmes are available as podcasts or downloads, which you can listen to on any MP3 player (more info about podcasts). Downloads can be kept on your computer to listen to whenever you like.

Radio 4 podcasts can be found here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/podcasts/

For technical questions about Listening online please see the iPlayer Radio help pages.

Please note: Whilst the BBC does not charge for its mobile content, your operator's charges for using the internet over 3G may apply. Connecting via WiFi is recommended where possible.

Listen Live and Listen Again on the Internet

With BBC Radio Player you can:

  • Listen live to BBC radio programmes as they are broadcast
  • Listen again to BBC radio programmes for up to seven days after broadcast

To use iPlayer Radio, go to the Radio homepage or to any BBC radio station website.

What is a podcast and how can I podcast, or download, a Radio 4 programme?

A number of Radio 4 programmes are available to download. A download or podcast is an audio file that you can save to your computer or mp3 player. Many mobile phones also have this functionality. You can keep any programme you download on your device, to play whenever you like. You can keep these programmes permanently.

You can use iTunes or any other podcast software to manage your podcasts, or simply download individual programmes directly from the Radio 4 Website. Find details of how to download on the Radio 4 Podcasts page.


Can I listen from outside the UK?

You can listen to Radio 4 online anywhere in the world however there are some types of content where we are restricted from distributing overseas, usually because of sports rights. If this is the case then the live and on demand stream will be blocked to international audiences for the duration of that segment. International audiences will hear a message informing them of the rights restrictions in place.

You won't be able to pick up BBC stations broadcasting on FM, MW and DAB very far from UK shores. They are funded by the UK licence fee and the BBC is not permitted to re-broadcast them from other countries.

However, in some areas close to the UK (such as Ireland, France, Denmark, Belgium and Holland) it is possible to receive Radio 4 on 198 kHz long wave.

For more information please see the BBC Reception website.

I'm having problems with my Radio Reception, can you help?

Visit the BBC's Reception website for comprehensive information on both radio and TV reception. Persistent problems are likely to need help from an aerial specialist.

BBC Reception website


How to Contact Radio 4

To contact a Radio 4 programme, to give feedback on a programme or to find out more about a programme please visit the relevant programme page and email them via their 'Contact Us' link.

Please visit the programme page before you write in as you may be able to contact the programme team directly or get the information you need on the programme webpage.

You can also write to our programmes using the following address:

Programme Name,  

Radio 4,  BBC Broadcasting House,  

London W1A 1AA



Join us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BBCRadio4


Tweet us at @bbcradio4 on the Official BBC Radio 4 Twitter profile

You can get in touch with some programmes (eg Call You and Yours) on our text number on 84844. Texts will not be included in your inclusive text bundles, and the exact cost of each message depends on your service provider - it is typically between 10 and 15 pence per message. MMS (Picture) messages may cost more - you should check with your service provider for exact details. Please make sure you take care when entering our number as some subscription services have similar numbers to ours.


The BBC has a system for dealing with complaints from our audience. All complaints about the BBC, our programmes and services should be sent via our Complaints Site.

Enquiries and Feedback

Due to the large amount of correspondence we receive, it is not always possible for us to reply to emails individually. Please read our How To Listen section and FAQs before contacting us where we give answers to the most common questions we receive.

Due to the large number of emails we receive if the answer to your query is already covered in the How to Listen or FAQs sections we are unlikely to answer your email.

Your Privacy

The BBC and any service provider we engage will use the information you supply to respond to your queries/comments, to develop and enhance our services and for statistical analysis of audiences and users. For full details of our policy regarding the personal information we collect about you visit our Privacy and Cookies page.

Radio 4 Long Wave

Radio 4 on Long Wave

Radio 4 on Long Wave

Radio 4 is available on Long Wave. A number of programmes are broadcast only on Radio 4 Long Wave and are not available on demand through iPlayer, but you can listen again using the links below where the programmes are available in Windows Media and Flash.

Here is the Radio 4 Long Wave Live Stream - Listen Now

Programmes broadcast only on Long Wave that are available on demand

Act of Worship 

An act of worship and music. Friday,

09:45 on BBC Radio 4 (LW only) 

(15 min)



Daily Service

Regular broadcast of Christian worship and music. 

09:45 on BBC Radio 4 (LW only) 

(15 min)

Yesterday in Parliament

News, views and features on yesterday's stories in Parliament. 

08:30 on BBC Radio 4 (LW only) 

(30 min)