BBC Radio 2 Beatles is now on-air but you can’t listen online

Radio 2 Beatles, the pop-up DAB station celebrating 50 years since the release of the Abbey Road album, is now on-air.

But you can only listen via a DAB digital radio across most of the UK.

The station started broadcasting today but will there will be no “Listen Live” button on any website, or the BBC Sounds app. Instead, fans are encouraged to listen to individual programmes on catch-up once they have been on-air.

But if you are going to tune in live on DAB, here’s a rundown of what’s happening to help you plan your listening:

Thursday 26th September


Ken Bruce (also on Radio2)

9.30am – 12pm

Ken will be live at Abbey Road studios with a special live music performance.

His PopMaster music quiz will have a special nod to The Beatles. There’s also the record and album of the week.


Nicky Campbell meets Giles Martin

12pm – 2pm

BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast presenter Nicky Campbell broadcasts live from the iconic Abbey Road Studios.  He looks at the amazing career of legendary producer Sir George Martin with help from George’s son Giles Martin.

Giles is a multi-Grammy award winning music producer, composer and arranger. He’s had worldwide success with critically acclaimed stage shows, TV and film projects.


The Beatles Solo – Imagine

2pm – 3pm

Record producer and broadcaster Tris Penna reviews the finest album releases by the solo Fab Four.

Today it’s John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. The piano that John Lennon wrote Imagine on was sold to George Michael at a pop memorabilia auction in 2000, to ensure that the instrument stayed in the UK.

The partnership of John and Yoko becomes the new Lennon and McCartney with a call to worldwide action – the ballads and passionate rock on Imagine mirrored their own lives – peace and love and whirlwind of attention around them, not forgetting work in and around their Ascot home and studio, all achieved at the speed of light. This will all be illustrated through archive from John and Yoko and those around them with comment and analysis from author, broadcaster and expert Patrick Humphries.

John & Yoko were reinventing the modern world through art and music.

Trevor Horn will talk about how Phil Spector’s production techniques broke new ground. Fashion designer Pam Hogg comments on Yoko the artist and how she helped shaped John’s life and career post Beatles. Peter Brown was mentioned in The Ballad Of John And Yoko and he describes being in the eye of the storm.

I Was There – Twiggy

3pm – 4pm

Broadcaster and writer Paddy O’Connell will interview people whose worlds crossed over with The Beatles during the 1960s.

This time he meets 60s model and style icon Twiggy.


Country Covers

4pm – 5pm

Ben Earle, one half of British country band The Shires looks back at how the stars of Country music have covered Fab Four songs.

Also on the show, an actual Beatle will team up with a country legend to cover a Beatles cover that the country legend sang in the first place.


Alice Levine – With A Little Help From My Friends

5pm – 6pm

BBC Radio 1 presenter and Beatles fan, Alice Levine, plays some of the great musical collaborations featuring members of The Fab Four.

Featured artists will include the Travelling Wilburys, Stevie Wonder, George Michael, Elton John and Lulu.


The Abbey Road Story

6pm – 7pm

Actor Himesh Patel who recently starred in the movie, Yesterday, tells the incredible story behind legendary 1969 LP Abbey Road which was the band’s last recorded album in this new two-part special.


Jo Whiley (Also on Radio 2)

7pm – 9pm

Jo Whiley presenting her Radio 2 evening show live from Abbey Road with live performances and very special guests.


The White Album with Martin Freeman

9pm – 10pm

Actor Martin Freeman presents this first episode of the two-part series exploring the story of the Beatles legendary 1968 LP, The White Album.


The Day John met Paul

10pm – 11pm

This programme presented by Bob Harris recreates the moment when John and Paul met for the first time at a Quarrymen gig at a garden fete in Woolton, Liverpool on 6 July 1957.

There’s an interview with Sir Paul McCartney, plus the music and memories of John Lennon’s group the Quarrymen.

Colin Hall, custodian of John Lennon’s childhood home Mendips helped to make the programme, which was first broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in June 2007 to mark ed the 50th anniversary of a day that changed music for ever.


The Beatles – Novelty

11pm – 12am

Comedian Jimmy Tarbuck looks back at some of the weird and wonderful covers of Fab Four hits.

Friday 27th September

Zoe Ball Breakfast Show (Also on Radio 2)

6.30am – 9.30am

Zoe Ball broadcasts live from Abbey Road with celebrity guests, including live music from Rick Astley performing Beatles covers, Giles Martin, the son of George Martin, who produced all the Beatles albums including Abbey Road and Sir Paul McCartney talking about his memories of Abbey Road and how he likes to jump out at tourists on the zebra crossing.


Tom Odell: My Beatles

9.30am – 10.30am

English singer and songwriter Tom Odell talks about his unique memories and passion for the music of the Beatles.

He explains about how he first heard their music, how it influenced him and what he feels is the legacy of the Fab Four.


John Bishop’s Beatles Tour

10.30am -12pm

Liverpudlian Beatles fan, John Bishop, invites listeners on board his Beatles tour.

Live from the iconic Abbey Road studios, John discusses the other locations, studios, clubs, halls, theatres, homes, streets and places that led to stardom and why were they so important in Beatle history, including  Penny Lane, Strawberry Field, The Cavern, The Casbah Club, Woolton, Wavertree and Dingle, the Liverpool Empire, the London Palladium, the Indra and the Kaiserkeller.


Rubber Soul

12pm – 2pm

Live from the Abbey Road Studios, Radio 2’s Rhythm Nation presenter, Trevor Nelson, plays two hours of classic soul covers of Fab Four songs including Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock and Nina Simone.


The Beatles Solo – Band On The Run

2pm – 3pm

Record producer and broadcaster Tris Penna reviews the finest album releases by the solo Fab Four.

This time it’s Band On The Run.

Paul wanted his band to be as big as The Beatles – so he swapped turning up at Student Unions in his car with jets, trucks, huge lighting rigs and Wings Over America. Paul emerges as the first post Beatles stadium superstar.

Nitin Sawhney talks about his experiences with Paul more recently and the album he bought and loved as a teenager.

Denny Laine, who was there, also has many stories. Sonically this album establishes a blueprint for the biggest rock and pop albums for the next decade and Trevor Horn explains why travelling to EMI studios all over the world had an effect on the sound of the album.

Nettie Baker also remembers her father Ginger’s attempts to get Wings to use his studio in Africa. Plus author, broadcaster and expert Patrick Humphries guides us through the key tracks like Jet, Bluebird, Let Me Roll It, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five and the epic title track.

I Was There – Tony Blackburn

3pm – 4pm

Broadcaster and writer Paddy O’Connell talks to people whose worlds crossed over with The Beatles during the 1960s.

In today’s show he meets legendary DJ and Radio 2 presenter Tony Blackburn.


12 Hours To Please

4pm – 5pm

This programme looks back at the remaking of the classic album on the 50th anniversary of the 12-hour session at Abbey Road, which resulted in the Beatles’ genre-defining album Please Please Me.

Leading artists attempt the same session including Stereophonics and Beverley Knight.

Sara Cox Beatles All Request Friday (Also on Radio 2)

5pm – 7pm

Sara Cox presents a special All Request Friday live from the Abbey Road Studios.

Gary Barlow Meets Sir Paul McCartney

7pm – 8pm

In a world exclusive interview, Take That frontman, Gary Barlow, talks to Sir Paul McCartney about his song-writing.

Beginning with the earliest days of the Beatles, Sir Paul reveals that he and John Lennon only began writing songs because other bands at The Cavern were doing the same covers as they were.

He discusses how close the relationship between himself and John Lennon was and how they brought different, complimentary elements to their song-writing.  He also talks about how they prided themselves that no two Beatles songs were ever the same.

Gary Barlow also explores where Sir Paul’s inspiration comes from, how he works and how he has managed a successful career over six decades.

Friday Night Is Music Night (Also on Radio 2)

8pm – 10pm

Guy Garvey presents a unique performance of Beatles music from Abbey Road Studios, featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra performing with guest singers, Cerys Matthews, Katie Melua, Ruby Turner, Mark King, Oli Rockberger and the London Contemporary Voices.

This concert includes rarely heard arrangements of Beatles favourites arranged by their producer and the man dubbed the fifth Beatle, Sir George Martin. Among the songs featured are Come Together, Something, Golden Slumbers, We Can Work It Out, A Hard Day’s Night, She’s Leaving Home, The Fool On The Hill, The Long and Winding Road and Hey Jude.

Hip To The Trip

10pm – 11pm

Grace Dent looks at the fashion and culture created around the Fab Four.

Carlisle born Grace is the host of the acclaimed Radio 4 series The Untold, but she is also an author, a journalist and a restaurant critic.

The Beatles: Here, There and Everywhere

11pm – 12am

The Beatles’ entire catalogue was recorded over forty years ago. Yet in both artistic and commercial terms, its power shows no sign of fading and the remastered versions of their albums have appeared in charts around the world. Paul Gambaccini presents a two-part series, in which a range of artists and record producers talk about the legacy of The Beatles.

Part one, Ask Me Why, focuses on the various elements within the group that combined to make The Beatles so musically powerful: their strengths as performers – both instrumentally and vocally – plus the brilliance of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison as songwriters.

Interviewees include writer and film director Cameron Crowe, Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighers and Nirvana), Jeff Lynne (ELO), Mika, Tom Petty, Slash and Susan Werner.

Saturday 28th September

Dermot O’Leary (Also on Radio 2)

8am – 10am

Dermot launches the third day of the Beatles Pop-Up with his show live from Abbey Road.

He’ll be joined by Will Young playing live in the Studio.


Dermot O’Leary Meets Richard Curtis

10am – 11am

After Dermot’s two hour simulcast live from Abbey Road, he presents this exclusive pop-up hour, featuring an interview with movie maestro and Beatles fan Richard Curtis.

Richard Curtis will be talking about his latest movie, Yesterday, which is a recent film about a world where The Beatles don’t exist.

The White Album With Martin Freeman

11am – 12pm

Actor Martin Freeman concludes the story of the Beatles legendary 1968 LP.


A-Z of The Beatles

12pm – 2pm

Scott Mills goes on an alphabetical but not necessarily obvious Fab Four-related journey, live from the Abbey Road studios.

The Beatles Solo – All Things Must Pass

2pm – 3pm

Record producer and broadcaster Tris Penna reviews the finest album releases by the solo members of the Fab Four.

This time Tris focusses on George Harrison’s album, All Things Must Pass.

During the final years of the band, George Harrison (who had always stood apart from the Lennon and McCartney powerhouse) emerged with Something, Here Comes The Sun and While My Guitar Gently Weeps, as a song writing genius, way ahead of his time. Many of the great songs on All Things Must Pass were rejected from The Beatles White Album and Abbey Road.

Apple employee Peter Brown explains how the final recordings in Abbey Road, Trident Studios and Twickenham film studios went for George.

Producers Tony Visconti (who worked on the arrangements) and Ken Scott (who was the engineer) join Trevor Horn in examining the recordings on the 1970 triple album.

Tris explores the outpouring of so much writing and George’s struggles with releasing the album, singles and the clashes between the spiritual and material worlds he lived in.

Annie Nightingale talks about the legacy of her friend and Patrick Humphries journeys through key tracks, such as Awaiting On You All, My Sweet Lord, Wah Wah, Isn’t It A Pity and the title track.

There’s also hear archive material from Ravi Shankar, Eric Clapton, Yoko Ono, Billy Preston and Terry Gilliam.

I Was There – Gillian Reynolds

3pm – 4pm

Broadcaster and writer, Paddy O’Connell, talks to personalities whose worlds crossed over with The Beatles.

In this episode, he will be talking to Liverpudlian Gillian Reynolds MBE who is the radio critic of the Sunday Times.

Dave Grohl: My Beatles

4pm – 5pm

The Foo Fighters frontman talks about his unique memories, and passion for the music of the Beatles.

He talks about how he first heard their music, how it influenced him, and what he feels is the legacy of the Fab Four.

The Beatles Downloaded: Official UK Top 60

5pm – 7pm

Janice Long kicks off the countdown of the Top 60 most streamed and downloaded Beatles songs in the UK from the Official Charts Company.

Janice will be playing the hits from number 60 to 31 and Greg James continues the countdown on Sunday at 5pm – 7pm

Sgt Pepper Recreated

7pm – 9pm

Originally broadcast to mark the 40th anniversary of the classic album in 2007, there’s another chance to hear the special re-recording of Sgt Pepper.

Artists featured include Oasis, Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight, Stereophonics, Bryan Adams and Jamie Cullum, who were joined by the original multi-award winning audio engineer Geoff Emerick in the studio to record their own interpretations of the famous album tracks.

Using the original analogue four-track equipment, Geoff demonstrates the innovative techniques employed for the recording at Abbey Road studios back in 1967.

Liza Tarbuck Meets Peter Blake

9pm – 10pm

Liza Tarbuck meets the English pop artist Peter Blake, best known for co-creating the sleeve design for the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The Beatles – As Songwriters

10pm – 11pm

British songwriter Guy Chambers looks at John Lennon and Paul McCartney as songwriters, analysing some of their greatest songs from a writing perspective and revealing the ways that he learnt from them when it came to writing hits with Robbie Williams.

The Beatles: Here, There & Everywhere

11pm – 12am

Paul Gambaccini presents part-two of the series where a range of artists and record producers talk about the legacy of The Beatles.

In this episode The Beatles On The Record, we hear how their music was captured on record with the help of innovative arrangements and adventurous production by George Martin. Some of today’s leading record producers – Peter Asher, Joe Boyd, T Bone Burnett, Jeff Lynne, Mark Ronson and Rick Rubin – marvel at the dazzling creativity evident in recordings made over 40 years ago.

Musicians Dave Grohl, Bob Seger, Slash, Susan Werner, Ann and Nancy Wilson (from the band Heart) and Brian Wilson also discuss the enduring influence of albums such as Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles (The White Album) and Abbey Road.

Sunday 29th September

America’s Greatest Beatles Hits

9am – 10am

Live from the Abbey Road Studios, Paul Gambaccini looks at the impact the Beatles’ song canon had on the musical landscape of the USA.


Radio 4 Mastertapes

10am – 11am

Recorded in BBC Maida Vale studios in 2016, Sir Paul McCartney joins John Wilson to discuss song-writing, Paul’s solo career in the years immediately after The Beatles, his recent collaborations with Kanye West, and working with the likes of George Martin, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and John Lennon.  He also takes questions from an audience that includes Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher and Brad Pitt.

The Beatles Love Songs

11am – 12pm

Steve Wright plays an hour of classic Love Songs from the Fab Four.

Desert Island Beatles

12pm – 2pm

Lauren Laverne hosts a two-hour compilation featuring the voices of the famous fans of The Beatles who have selected their songs over the long history of Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs.

The Beatles Solo – Sentimental Journey

2pm – 3pm

Record producer and broadcaster Tris Penna reviews the finest album releases by the solo Fab Four.

This time Tris features Ringo Starr’s album, Sentimental Journey.

Ringo breaks the mould by making a very personal gift to his family. Peter Asher, who was at the time involved with Apple and James Taylor, has since worked with the biggest names in music.

Trevor Horn highlights the ground breaking aspect of the idea and production techniques at the time. This was before Ringo’s friend Harry Nilsson released A Little Touch of Schmillsson in the Night.

Also on the show, Patrick Humphries talks through key tracks and describes the importance of the great American Songbook.

Nettie Baker remembers her father Ginger Baker’s friendship and admiration for Ringo and their work together in the All-Starr Band.

Annie Nightingale recalls an interview Ringo gave her at the time of the album’s release. Plus, John Reid, well known as the former manager of Elton John and Queen, discusses the industry at the time and the appetite for Ringo’s work with Tris throughout the programme.

Jack Savoretti: My Beatles


Singer and songwriter, Jack Savoretti, talks about his memories and passion for the music of the Beatles.

His favourite tracks include Across the Universe, The Fool on the Hill and Don’t Let Me Down. He also recalls the day he met Sir Paul McCartney at Abbey Road.  Plus he plays the poignant Johnny Cash cover of In My Life, Aretha Franklin’s take on Eleanor Rigby and Joe Cocker’s version of With a Little Help From My Friends.

The Beatles Downloaded: The Official UK Top 60

5pm – 7pm

Greg James completes the countdown of the Top 60 most streamed and downloaded Beatles songs in the UK.

He’ll be playing the Top 30 Fab Four Hits as compiled by the Official Charts Company.

The Beatles At Auntie Beeb

7pm – 9pm

Craig Charles explores the BBC Archive collection of The Beatles’ radio performances and interviews.

These were broadcast on the BBC’s Light Programme between 1963 and 1965 which captured the Fab Four at the crucial stage in their development, from talented newcomers to becoming one of the most influential musical groups of the 20th Century and beyond.

We’ll hear music taken from shows including Easy Beat, Saturday Club and Pop Go The Beatles. Tracks including Lennon and McCartney originals such as A Hard Day’s Night, All My Loving and Love Me Do performed alongside rock and roll classics of that era including Long Tall Sally, Johnny B. Goode and Roll Over Beethoven.

The Beatles Fantasy Concert

9pm – 11pm

Paul Merton takes to the imaginary stage to introduce The Beatles Fantasy Concert, featuring the ultimate collection of live performances recorded by The Beatles as a band and as solo artists.

Abbey Road Story (2/2)

11pm – 12am

Actor Himesh Patel concludes the story of the Beatles legendary 1969 LP.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.