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BBC Radio 2 announces Doctor Who @60: A Musical Celebration

Doctor Who @ 60: A Musical Celebration

To mark the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who, Jo Whiley presents a very special edition of Sunday Night is Music Night on BBC Radio 2 – Doctor Who @60: A Musical Celebration, with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC Singers, conducted by Alastair King, celebrating the glorious musical sounds of the iconic and much-loved TV series.

Since its launch on BBC Television in November 1963, Doctor Who has been delighting millions of fans all over the world as they have followed the adventures of the Time Lord. With its instantly recognisable theme, specially composed music has always been at the heart of the show.

The concert features world exclusive first live performances of Ruby Sunday’s (the Doctor’s new companion) theme The Life of Sunday, the theme tune of the Fifteenth Doctor called Fifteenth, and the new iteration of the iconic Doctor Who theme tune, brilliantly reimagined by composer Murray Gold, who was interviewed on the night, as well as fellow composer Segun Akinola. Fans of the show will also recognise I Am The Doctor, Abigail’s Song, This Is Gallifrey, The Impossible Girl, I Am A Good Man and The Shepherd’s Boy. There are contributions from showrunners Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat and Chris Chibnall, and also a trip back in time to the classic years of Doctor Who from the 1960s, 70s and 80s featuring the vintage synthesisers of BBC Radiophonic Workshop veterans Mark Ayres and Peter Howell. Plus there’s a look ahead to the keenly awaited 60th anniversary specials on BBC One later in the year.

Doctor Who @60: A Musical Celebration will be broadcast on Radio 2 from 8-10pm on Sunday 15th October and available to hear on BBC Sounds, and also filmed for BBC iPlayer, to be broadcast at a later date.

Jo says: “As listeners to my Radio 2 show know I’m a HUGE Doctor Who fan, so presenting this concert is a dream come true. How better to mark the incredible 60th anniversary of the show than with this wonderful celebration of the music that has featured across the decades.”

Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, says: “BBC Radio 2 just had to mark this momentous anniversary of one of our most-loved BBC TV series. We’re thrilled to bring the amazing BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC Singers to the station to play the memorable music of Doctor Who which we know our listeners will love.”

Lisa Tregale, Director, BBC NOW: “Everyone at BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales is looking forward to welcoming Doctor Who fans to our home, BBC Hoddinott Hall, in Cardiff for this special 60th anniversary concert with BBC Radio 2. The stage is set, the Daleks have descended, the TARDIS has landed and all Whovians are in for a special treat! Tune into Radio 2 to hear classic and brand new Doctor Who soundtracks performed by BBC NOW as part of this celebration.”

The concert was recorded at the home of BBC National Orchestra of Wales  – Hoddinott Hall at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. Doctor Who was relaunched in 2005, and primarily filmed in and around Cardiff. The series returns in November 2023 with three special episodes with David Tennant returning to the show as the Fourteenth Doctor, alongside Catherine Tate who is reprising her role as Donna Noble. Ncuti Gatwa will take over as the Fifteenth Doctor over the festive period.

Radio 2’s My Life in a Mixtape continues the special celebrations in the autumn, when much loved Doctor Who actors will share the music that has been the soundtrack to their life, from childhood through to now.

Earlier this year Radio 2 launched a brand new show from BBC Cymru Wales, with Owain Wyn Evans welcoming listeners to his early breakfast show, broadcasting live from Cardiff from Monday to Friday (4-6.30am). This is the first daily weekday programme on Radio 2 to move out of London and forms part of the BBC’s Across The UK plans, as announced by the Director General in 2021.

BBC Radio 2 is the UK’s most listened to radio station, with a weekly audience of 13.5 million (RAJAR Q2, 2023). The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show is most listened to breakfast show in the UK with an audience of 6.7 million (RAJAR Q2, 2023). The network’s presenters include Michael Ball, Zoe Ball, Rob Beckett, Tony Blackburn, OJ Borg, Rev. Kate Bottley, Rylan, Fearne Cotton, Sara Cox, Jamie Cullum, Gary Davies, Paul Gambaccini, Angela Griffin, Bob Harris, Vernon Kay, Cerys Matthews, Scott Mills, Jason Mohammad, Trevor Nelson, Dermot O’Leary, Elaine ige, Mark Radcliffe, Romesh Ranganathan, DJ Spoony, Liza Tarbuck, Jeremy Vine, Michelle Visage, Johnnie Walker, Jo Whiley, Phil Williams, Claudia Winkleman, Steve Wright and Owain Wyn Evans.