The Sunday Hour was a long-standing show broadcast on the BBC Light Programme and then BBC Radio 2 in the United Kingdom, broadcast for 78 years between 14 July 1940 and 28 January 2018.[1]

The Sunday Hour
Other namesSunday Half Hour (1940–2013)
GenreReligious broadcasting
Running time60 mins (6:00 am – 7:00 am)
(30 mins until 2013)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Home station
Hosted by
Original release14 July 1940 (1940-07-14) –
28 January 2018 (2018-01-28)

For most of its life it occupied a Sunday evening slot, latterly between 8:30 pm and 9:00 pm but in 2013 it moved to a Sunday morning slot between 6:00 am and 7:00 am. It broadcast Christian hymns and prayer, and was one of only two remaining Christian-based shows on Radio 2, the other being Good Morning Sunday.

For its first fifty years, many presenters took part, and the entire show was hosted by a different church each week. From September 1990, the format changed so that the show was presented by a regular presenter from the studio, with recordings of hymns, some sung by a "featured choir", inserted between the discussion, prayers and dedications. Each week the show was centred on a specific theme: an event in the Church calendar, a passage of the Bible, or a more general area such as the family or the importance of carers. The longest-serving of the regular presenters was Roger Royle, an Anglican priest, who presented the show between September 1990 and April 2007. Brian D'Arcy, a Passionist priest from Northern Ireland, took over as the presenter in April 2007. Diane-Louise Jordan was the next presenter, replacing Father Brian in February 2012.[2] Jordan announced she was leaving in July 2017.[3] The show's final presenter was the Rev. Kate Bottley.

From 20 January 2013, the show was extended to an hour and moved to a new slot from 6:00 am to 7:00 am on Sunday mornings. The programme's name was changed to The Sunday Hour. Singer Michael Ball took over the Sunday evening slot with a new two-hour show.[4]

The show was axed and broadcast its final show on 28 January 2018 after 78 years in favour of a brand new format for Radio 2's Sunday breakfast programme, Good Morning Sunday, starting 4 February.[5]

Presenters edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Sunday Half Hour 70th anniversary". Sunday Half Hour. 18 July 2010. BBC Radio 2.
  2. ^ "Father Brian D'Arcy steps down from Sunday Half Hour". BBC Media Centre (Press release). BBC. 23 January 2012. Retrieved 25 January 2020. Father Brian D'Arcy, presenter of Sunday Half Hour, BBC Radio 2's weekly programme of hymns and prayers, has decided to leave the show on 29th January after a five year tenure. He hands over presenting duties to Songs Of Praise presenter Diane-Louise Jordan.
  3. ^ "Diane Louise Jordan leaves The Sunday Hour". Radio Today. 4 July 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2020. Diane Louise Jordan has decided to step down from presenting The Sunday Hour on BBC Radio 2 after five years.
  4. ^ "Michael Ball joins Radio 2 in brand new Sunday night show". BBC Media Centre (Press release). BBC. 7 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2020. On the same date, Sunday Half Hour becomes The Sunday Hour in an extended programme that moves to a morning slot and kicks off the day's faith zone from 6am.
  5. ^ "A new look to Sunday mornings on BBC Radio 2". BBC Media Centre (Press release). BBC. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2020. The new programme replaces two separate programmes – The Sunday Hour (6-7am) which was hosted by Kate Bottley, and Good Morning Sunday (7-9am), which was hosted by Clare Balding.

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