Radio 3 to celebrate 70th anniversary with yoga and tea dances


Yoga, tea dances and a programme of live music and drama will help BBC Radio 3 celebrate its 70th anniversary later this year.

The channel will broadcast live from a pop-up glass studio for two weeks from September 23 to October 7 as it joins with the Southbank Centre for Sound Frontiers, a fortnight of events to mark seven decades since the launch of the Third Programme, the predecessor to BBC Radio 3.

Famous guests will include author Margaret Atwood in conversation with Naomi Alderman, performances from Nicola Benedetti and Max Richter, and Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Philharmonia orchestra in two Stravinsky concerts.

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood (Liam Sharp/Handout/PA)

A live radio drama about the origins of the station will be complemented by interactive workshops on radio presenting, music mixing and editing, plus a day of discussions and mentoring on how to make it in the industry.

Those looking to work up a sweat can join a 1940s swinging tea dance, while those wanting to relax from the hustle and bustle of the working week can take part in "classical yoga" which will see classes accompanied by live classical music on the Southbank Centre's renowned Festival Terrace.

The celebrations will coincide with National Poetry Day on October 6, while a partnership with the London Literature Festival will see cultural debates on air and a series of essays from five writers born in 1946, including Michael Rosen.

David Bowie will be remembered on the final night with a special Big Sing, where Londoners and listeners at home can sing along to his classic hits.

David Bowie at the Isle Of Wight festival in 2004 (Yui Mok/PA)
David Bowie (Yui Mok/PA)

Edward Blakeman, head of music programming and policy at BBC Radio 3, said: "BBC Radio 3, and before it the Third Programme, has been a cultural patron for seven decades, being brave with its programming and forging new paths.

"Our partnership with Southbank Centre, which was also created in the spirit of post-war optimism, is a perfect fit and we can't wait both to immerse our audiences in our past and in our future and to, as always, exercise flexibility both in our schedule and in our yoga poses."