Big Ben bongs replaced by Rochdale bongs on Radio 4 this Christmas

The 6pm Christmas Eve news bulletin on BBC Radio 4 will be preceded by the bongs from Rochdale Town Hall this year.

Normally it would be the live bongs from Big Ben that are heard, but they’ve been silent from August last year due to repair works. Since then, BBC Radio 4 has been broadcasting recorded bongs, but the Rochdale ones will be a “special festive replacement”.

The Northern Powerhouse minister, Jake Berry suggested to the BBC that they should use the Rochdale Town Hall bells because they sound similar to those of Big Ben.

Rochdale Borough Council’s leader, Alan Brett said: “This is a huge boost for Rochdale and I am delighted that our town has been recognised in this way.

“Rochdale Town Hall is one of the country’s most iconic buildings and we are proud its famous gongs will ring out across the land over the festive period.

“Well done to the BBC for backing our campaign and for striking a chord with public opinion. Let the bells ring out for Christmas!”

Gwyneth Williams, controller of BBC Radio 4, said that she’s”delighted” to have the chimes of Rochdale bells ringing out for everyone across the UK to hear.

The station has confirmed that, other than recordings of Big Ben, Rochdale’s will be the only bells used at the start of news bulletins over Christmas.

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