BBC expands The World At One

Radio 4BBC Radio Four‘s news and current affairs programme The World At One will now run for an extra 15 minutes after the corporation decided to expand the show’s running time. The series, which has been on-air since 1965, is regularly presented by Martha Kearney and Shaun Ley, expanded to its new running time yesterday (Monday 7th November).

Listeners will now be able to enjoy an extra 15 minutes of news on Radio 4 as The World At One is extended. The programme, which provides the latest news, analysis and comment five days a week for the station’s lunchtime listeners, has been gaining record audiences – up 10% on the year, with a reach of 3.3 million people every week and around 1.4m each day (RAJAR quarter 3 2011).

The extension will provide more space for breaking stories without having to upset the schedule with a last-minute extension, reflect the faster development of stories following the Today programme whilst also ensuring coverage of the national and foreign news agendas. In the first week of the extension presenter Martha Kearney (who also presents The Review Show on BBC Two) will be interviewing the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Bill Gates, the outgoing director of the Royal Ballet Dame Monica Mason and, three months on from the riots, will be joined by Iain Duncan Smith in Hackney for a special programme.

“We are very excited about the extension. There is a real appetite now to understand more about the complexities of the modern world especially the economic crisis and our record audiences reflect that. More time will also allow us to expand our international coverage, to put the world back into The World At One and to reflect a broader cultural agenda.” –
Martha Kearney, Presenter of The World At One

“I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to talk into Martha’s ear telling her to wrap up an interview or move on to the next item, even though we know there are questions we’d like to have asked our guests. I understand how frustrating listeners find this and the extension to 45 minutes will allow the interviews and discussions time to breathe just a bit more. We know we have a successful format with WATO, our record audience figures are certainly proof of that. So we are not looking to make any dramatic changes. But the extension will allow us to broaden our range of coverage and our audience research shows there is an appetite for that – for more business stories, more technology, more arts and culture.”-
Nick Sutton, Editor of The World At One

The World At One is broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 1pm-1.45pm, Monday to Friday.