Woman's Hour
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Woman's Hour

Woman's Hour
GenreNews magazine focusing on women's issues
Running time60 minutes (10:00 am–11:00 am)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Language(s)English
Home station
Hosted by
Created by
Recording studioBroadcasting House, London, UK
Original release7 October 1946 (1946-10-07) - present
Audio formatStereo
Websitewww.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007qlvb Edit this at Wikidata
Podcastwww.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007qlvb/episodes/downloads

Woman's Hour is a radio magazine programme broadcast in the United Kingdom on the BBC Light Programme, BBC Radio 2, and later BBC Radio 4. It has been on the air since 1946.

History

Created by Norman Collins[2] and originally presented by Alan Ivimey, Woman's Hour was first broadcast on 7 October 1946 on the BBC's Light Programme. Janet Quigley, who was also involved with the birth of the UK radio programme Today, has been credited with "virtually creating" the programme.[1]

The programme was transferred to its current home in 1973. Over the years it has been presented by Mary Hill (1946-1963), Joan Griffiths (1947-1949), Olive Shapley (1949-1953), Jean Metcalfe (1950-1968), Violet Carson (1952-1956), Marjorie Anderson (1958-1972), Teresa McGonagle (1958-1976), Judith Chalmers (1966-1970), Sue MacGregor (1972-1987), Jenni Murray (since 1987), Martha Kearney (1998 to March 2007), and Jane Garvey (since 8 October 2007). Fill-in presenters have included Sheila McClennon, Carolyn Quinn, Jane Little, Ritula Shah, Oona King, Amanda Platell and Emma Barnett.

On 31 December 2004, the show became Man's Hour for one day only, on which it was presented by Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow.[3] On 18 July 2010, after 64 years of Woman's Hour, the BBC began broadcasting a full series called Men's Hour on BBC Radio 5 Live, presented by Tim Samuels.

For one week in April 2014, the programme was guest edited by J. K. Rowling, Kelly Holmes, Naomi Alderman, Doreen Lawrence and Lauren Laverne. It was the first time the programme had a guest editor since its initial decade of broadcast.[4] In September 2015, the programme hosted "Woman's Hour Takeover" with a week of guest editors, including Kim Cattrall, Nimko Ali, Rachel Treweek, Michelle Mone and Jacqueline Wilson.[5]

Late Night Woman's Hour, a spinoff series, was launched in 2015, presented by Lauren Laverne. The series is broadcast in an 11pm timeslot and each episode takes a single topic for discussion.[6] The lateness of the broadcast allows for more freedom to handle topics considered unsuitable for the morning broadcast.

The programme has an annual "power list" of highly achieving women.[7]

In October 2016, it was recorded that the programme has 3.7 million listeners weekly and is the second most popular daily podcast across BBC Radio. A quarter of its audience where reported to be under 35 and 40% male.[8] In 2013, the programme had 3.9 million listeners, 14% of whom were men.[9] In 2006 it had 2.7 million listeners, 4% of whom were men.[10]

Format

In its current format, the first 45 minutes of the programme consist of reports, interviews and debates on health, education, cultural and political topics aimed at women and mothers. The last 15 minutes feature short-run drama serials (Woman's Hour Drama), which periodically change. One of the most popular of these is the recurring Ladies of Letters serials, starring Prunella Scales and Patricia Routledge. (This section is also broadcast at 7:45pm.) Before 1998 the last quarter of an hour was dedicated to readings.

Schedule

Woman's Hour has been broadcast at 10am Monday to Friday since James Boyle's revision of the Radio 4 schedules in April 1998. Between September 1991 and April 1998 it was broadcast at 10:30am, having previously gone out for many years in an early afternoon slot (2pm). The programme's move to a morning slot was unpopular among some listeners who, for family or other reasons, work only in the morning. Michael Green, the then controller of Radio 4, made his decision the previous year and considered the elimination of the programme title.[11]Weekend Woman's Hour is broadcast on Saturday afternoons at 4pm, features highlights of the previous week introduced by one of the presenters and lasts almost an hour. Additionally, episodes are made available as a podcast following the broadcast of each programme.

Music

In its earlier years, it used a variety of popular light classics as signature tunes, including such pieces as H. Elliott-Smith's Wanderlust (Waltz), Anthony Collins' Vanity Fair, and the lively Overture from Gabriel Fauré's Masques et Bergamasques. From the early 1970s, specially composed pieces were used, several of which were provided by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.

There is also a band called Woman's Hour based in the UK and signed to Secretly Canadian [12] records who took their name from the radio show.

Controversies

Breach of BBC impartiality rules

A listener complained about the 1 October 2018 edition of Woman's Hour, which featured an item discussing the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.[13] The feature included an interview with a law professor who had worked with Anita Hill, in her pursuit of a sexual harassment complaint against an earlier nominee, Judge Clarence Thomas. The listener believed that allusions to the earlier case were immaterial and prejudicial, that the selection of interviewee was biased, and that presenter Jane Garvey had expressed her personal view on a controversial topic.

The BBC Executive Complaints Unit partially upheld the listener's complaint, stating that Garvey gave the impression of sympathising with the interviewee's viewpoint, and "did not challenge the interviewee in a manner which would have ensured due impartiality". As a result, the Woman's Hour team and production staff attended a briefing on impartiality.[14]

Feminism

Woman's Hour presenter Jenni Murray is a former patron of the charity Women's Aid[15] and is president of the Fawcett Society.[16]

In April 2014, Radio 4's Roger Bolton noted on the BBC's Feedback Blog: "As you well know BBC programmes are supposed to be impartial but I'm not sure if that can be said of Woman's Hour, at least when it comes to feminism. Woman's Hour is in fact a powerful advocate for women's empowerment and this week as part of that campaign it produced its second power list."[17]

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2017 Diversity in Media Awards Radio Programme of the Year BBC Woman's Hour Nominated

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Cox, David (18 November 1993). "Obituary: Kevin FitzGerald". The Independent. London: Newspaper Publishing. ISSN 0951-9467. Retrieved 2020. Another more personal link with the BBC was his marriage to Janet Quigley, who virtually created the radio programme Woman's Hour which is still running today.
  2. ^ "October 1946 - Woman's Hour - The first dedicated radio programme for women". History of the BBC. BBC. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 2020. Norman Collins, the creator of Woman's Hour, spoke about the programme in 1967.
  3. ^ "Man's Hour - BBC Radio 4 FM - 31 December 2004 - BBC Genome". genome.ch.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ Flood, Alison (10 April 2014). "JK Rowling to become Woman's Hour first guest editor for 60 years". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. eISSN 1756-3224. Retrieved 2014.
  5. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour Takeover". Retrieved 2015.
  6. ^ Glenni, Alasdair (21 August 2015). "Lauren Laverne raises eyebrows with Radio 4's Late Night Woman's Hour". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. eISSN 1756-3224. Retrieved 2016.
  7. ^ The Power List 2013; British Broadcasting Corporation
  8. ^ Topping, Alexandra (10 October 2016). "Woman's Hour reaches 70th birthday - and no need for 'light dusting of powder'". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. eISSN 1756-3224. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (11 August 2013). "The Woman's Hour mix - does it work?". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. eISSN 1756-3224. Retrieved 2014.
  10. ^ Byrne, Ciar (3 February 2006). "'Woman's Hour' discovers a new audience: men". The Independent. London: Independent News & Media. ISSN 0951-9467. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ Hendy, David (2007). Life on Air: A History of Radio Four. Oxford University Press. p. 332. ISBN 978-0-19-924881-0 – via Google Books. Indeed, perhaps the name itself could change. The existing title undoubtedly made sense in 1946, when the programme was unashamedly designed to appeal to housewives, and entice women war-workers back into the home. But with more women going out to work and more men listening, with a new timeslot and a refreshed style, with all the progress that had been made in sex equality, how sensible would it be to keep calling it Woman's Hour in the decade to come?
  12. ^ "Woman's Hour - Biography". Secretly Canadian.
  13. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Woman's Hour, Melissa Laveaux, Kavanaugh Hearing, Care leavers at University". BBC Radio 4. 1 October 2018.
  14. ^ "Woman's Hour, Radio 4, 1 October 2018". Complaints. BBC. 19 June 2019. Retrieved 2020. The item made clear the differences, as well as the points of comparison, between the Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh cases, and the inclusion of an interviewee who clearly represented one viewpoint in the current case did not of itself lead to bias. However, the presenter gave the impression of sympathising with that viewpoint, and did not challenge the interviewee in a manner which would have ensured due impartiality.
  15. ^ "Patrons & Ambassadors". Women's Aid. Archived from the original on 17 July 2011. Retrieved 2020. Our inaugural Patron, Jenni Murray, a Broadcaster on Woman's Hour on Radio 4, has supported Women's Aid for many years. Jenni joined us as a Patron of Women's Aid in 2002.
  16. ^ "Our President". Fawcett Society. Retrieved 2020.
  17. ^ Bolton, Roger (11 April 2014). "Feedback: What is the Point of Power Lists". Radio 4 blog. BBC. Retrieved 2014.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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