BBC Radio 2 celebrates musicals with BBC One

Musicals: The Greatest Show is coming to BBC Radio 2 forming part of three days of special programmes about the stage and screen.

Hosted on radio and television by performer Sheridan Smith, the initiative puts the songs, the shows, and the stars, back on stage at the London Palladium.

It will be broadcast from 7pm – 9pm on Sunday 31 January on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds, and as a 75-minute show in February on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

From Friday 29 January to Sunday 31 January, for Radio 2 Celebrates Musicals the station has lined up an array of music, programmes and documentaries.

On Friday between 5am to 7pm on Radio 2, each song broadcast will be one of the greatest ever songs from musical theatre and film, plus a national sing-a-long moment will take place in Zoe Ball’s Breakfast Show.

There will be musical stars as guest presenters for Sounds Of The 60s, 70s, 80 and 90s, and on the Sunday Elaine Paige reveals the results of the listener vote to discover their favourite song from a musical. Elaine is also Ken Bruce’s guest for Tracks Of My Years from Monday to Friday is Elaine Paige.

American musical theatre actor, Marisha Wallace, is doing the House Music Session (Thursday 28 January). Jeremy Vine explores the joy of musical theatre and its power to move and inspire us, and is joined by musicals aficionado Pippa Evans as he asks listeners what is their all-time favourite musical (12pm-2pm).

Sara Cox is playing all the listeners’ favourite songs from the West End, Broadway and Hollywood musicals with an All Request Friday (5pm-7pm).

Musicals are the theme for OJ Borg’s Midnight Mastermind quiz from Monday to Friday, and on the Friday night OJ has a musicals inspired Yawn Chorus, discovering the hidden am-dram singing voices from nightshifts across the UK (midnight-3am, 25-29 January).

On Saturday 30 January, Dermot O’Leary welcomes Dexter Fletcher (directed Rocketman and Bohemian Rhapsody and played Babyface in Bugsy Malone) and John Owen Jones (Jean Valjean, Les Misérables and Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera) as his guests.

On Sunday 31 January, in Good Morning Sunday, Revd. Kate Bottley and Jason Mohammed put the spotlight on Jesus Christ Superstar and Michael Ball will be joined by Gary Wilmot, and two surprise names will play an On the Ball musicals special.

Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, says: “2020 left a gaping hole in the lives of musical theatre lovers with the shows being closed due to the pandemic. So instead, we’ll bring the musicals to listeners and viewers on Radio 2 and across BBC One, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sounds.

“I truly hope our programming will help to lift the spirits and capture the joy and elation that only these wonderful songs and performers can bring.”

Highlights include:

  • Amanda Holden and Sheridan Smith perform I Know Him So Well, from Chess.
  • Josh Groban sings The Impossible Dream from Man Of La Mancha – with his vocal performance recorded in Los Angeles
  • Elaine Paige with Sunset Boulevard’s As If We Never Said Goodbye.
  • Gavin Spokes, from the West End production of Hamilton, performs You’ll Be Back
  • Michael Ball performs You Can’t Stop The Beat from Hairspray
  • Sheridan Smith performs Don’t Rain On My Parade from Funny Girl

All those involved in Musicals: The Greatest Show will be adhering to Government Guidelines regarding travelling for work and the production is adhering to strict Covid-19 secure measures at all times for all filming locations. Musicals: The Greatest Show is a TBI production for Radio 2 and BBC One.

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