BBC Radio 4 Extra is the BBC’s speech, entertainment and comedy radio station. The station originally launched in 2002 as “BBC 7”.
On this page, we offer information on how to get the station, and what’s on offer.
What’s on BBC Radio 4 Extra?
BBC Radio 4 Extra first went on-air as BBC 7 in 2002, and re-branded to BBC Radio 7 in 2008. The station changed name again, this time to BBC Radio 4 Extra in April 2011.
BBC Radio 4 Extra is a digital radio station offering comedy, drama and kids programmes. The schedule is very varied.
Below is a short list of some of the content that’s been on 4 Extra and BBC Radio 7 in the past:
- Comedy– The station runs classic comedy right across the day. Shows include Hancock’s Half Hour, The Goons, Round The Horne, Radio Active, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, Just A Minute. More modern radio comedy in the form of shows like Little Britain, Room 101, They Think It’s All Over, Goodness Gracious Me, Alan Partridge and The League Of Gentlemen also make up the regular line-up.
- Drama – Drama shows in the past have included The French Lieutenant’s Woman, This Sporting Life, Earthsearch, Inspector Rebus, Dr Who, plus Stephen King’s, Pet Cemetery. Each weekday morning, you can hear bestsellers read by famous actors – recent reading include The Shipping News, Behind The Scenes At The Museum and Notes From A Small Island.
- Kids – Monday to Friday at 4pm, there’s the 4 ‘o’ clock show with content for kids, plus kids drama at other times in the schedule.
Receiving BBC Radio 4 Extra
BBC Radio 4 Extra is available on DAB Digital Radio, Freeview, Sky Digital, Freesat, Virgin Media and TalkTalk TV, as well as over the Internet via the BBC Radio 4 Extra site. This site provides help on getting access to all of these services – see the links on the left.
Here are the main ways to get BBC Radio 4 Extra:
|Via DAB||Handheld, portable or Hi-Fi DAB|
DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting, and is the new type of radio service available in the UK. You’ll need a special DAB radio to receive Digital Radio – there are a range of DAB radios now available, including kitchen radios, hi-fi tuners, in-car radios and battery-powered portable devices.
Pictured here is the Pure ONE, available for under £50.
DAB Help: We’ve been asked a couple of times for the frequency of BBC Radio 4 Extra on DAB. DAB radios tune in by station-name, not by frequency, so frequency is not especially useful. If you’re technically-minded, BBC Radio 4 Extra is on the BBC National DAB multiplex (Block 12B) – 225.648MHz
Note that on DAB radio, BBC Radio 4 Extra is broadcast in mono, to save bandwidth. The station is broadcast in stereo on digital TV.
More on getting a DAB radio can be found on our Digital Radio pageVia FreeviewFreeview Channel 708
Freeview is a TV and radio service which can be received with a Freeview box via your TV aerial. Freeview is Subscription-free, and all you need to do, is buy a set-top box, and plug it in to your TV and your aerial. Boxes are priced from around £20.
There’s no subscription, no ties, and no contract. You must be an area of Freeview coverage.
More on getting Freeview: Freeview Basics ExplainedVia SatelliteSky Digital – Channel 0131
If you have, or are considering, increasing your TV and radio channel choice, getting a Sky TV dish and set-top box will give you access to all of the BBC services, including BBC Radio 4 Extra.
For more on Sky, see our Sky Digital section.Via CableVirgin Media Cable TV – Channel 910
If you live in a part of the UK that’s covered cable TV operator Virgin Media, you’ll have access to all of the BBC services, including Radio 4 Extra. To see if cable TV is available in your area, try www.virginmedia.com
For more on Virgin Media , see our Cable TV page.Via the Internet Radio 4 Extra is available over the Internet. Look for the “Listen Live” link on the Radio 4 Extra site at www.bbc.co.uk/radio4extra. It’s also available on the RadioPlayer
More on Internet Radio.
What happened to BBC Radio 7?
BBC Radio 7 offered comedy, drama and kids. Below is a quick summary of what’s been heard on BBC Radio 7 in the past:
- Comedy – The station ran classic comedy right across the day, including Hancock’s Half Hour, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, The Goons, The Navy Lark, Round The Horne, Radio Active, The Men From The Ministry, Yes Minister, Just A Minute and a whole host of other shows from the BBC’s comedy archives. More modern radio comedy in the form of shows like Little Britain, Alan Partridge, The League Of Gentlemen, Room 101, They Think It’s All Over, Clare in the Community, Goodness Gracious Me, also made up the regular BBC Radio 7 line-up.
- Drama – In BBC Radio 7’s Drama zone you could expect to hear things such as The French Lieutenant’s Woman, This Sporting Life, the sci-fi series Earthsearch, Inspector Rebus, various archive Dr Who episodes and other top radio drama series. On a weekday morning, the station would broadcast bestsellers read by famous actors.
- Kids – The station had a two hour children’s slot, great for parents picking up their kids from school. The main show for little ones was The Big Toe Radio
Show, which was broadcast live on weekday afternoons aimed at the 9 to 11 year old audience. Kids output on BBC Radio 7 included short stories, competitions, interviews, games and music.
The younger audience was also served, thanks to the aptly-named Little Toe Radio Show.
BBC Radio 4 Extra Questions
Is BBC Radio 4 Extra in stereo or mono?
- BBC Radio 4 Extra is available in stereo on Sky, Freeview, Freesat and Virgin, but it’s only available on DAB Digital Radio in mono, due to bandwidth limitations
Got a question about BBC Radio 4 Extra? Ask in our radio forum
For more on BBC Radio 4 Extra, and for the upcoming programme schedule, see the BBC Radio 4 Extra site at bbc.co.uk/radio4extra/