Late Junction

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Late Junction
GenreExperimental music
Running time120 minutes (11:00 pm – 1:00 am)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Home stationBBC Radio 3
Hosted byVerity Sharp
Jennifer Lucy Allan
Recording studioBroadcasting House, London
Original release13 September 1999 (1999-09-13)
Audio formatStereophonic sound

Late Junction is a music programme broadcast weekly on Friday nights by BBC Radio 3. Billed as "Experimental music for adventurous listeners.",[1] the programme has a wide musical scope. It is not uncommon to hear medieval ballads juxtaposed with 21st-century electronica, or jazz followed by international folk music followed by an ambient track.[2] Each edition of the programme runs for 120 minutes.


The programme was created soon after Roger Wright took over as controller of BBC Radio 3, as part of changes with which Wright believed that he was addressing "this feeling people had that they didn't want to put Radio 3 on unless they were going to listen carefully".[3] The first programme was broadcast on 13 September 1999 and produced by Antony Pitts.[4][5]

Late Junction won a Sony gold award in 2003 for Music Programming.[6] The show was described as "A radio jewel. Is there a show like this anywhere else in the radio world? Everyone who hears the show falls in love with it. Surprising, revealing, accessible. Brilliantly programmed - a show where the real star is the music."[7]

The programme's main regular presenters are Verity Sharp and Jennifer Lucy Allan, who alternate as solo presenters.[8] Before the shift from three 90-minute shows per week to a single two-hour broadcast in late 2019, other regular presenters included the show's founding presenter Fiona Talkington,[7] Max Reinhardt, Nick Luscombe, Anne Hilde Neset, and Mara Carlyle. Other former presenters include Shaheera Asante (until 2006), and Robert Sandall, until his death from prostate cancer in 2010.

While the selection of music to be played in any one programme is the result of a collaboration between producer and presenter, some individual preferences can be detected. Fiona Talkington, for instance, tended to play more conventional jazz and Scandinavian music and Verity Sharp more folk music, especially that featuring fiddle-playing. Nick Luscombe's shows often featured music from Japan.

The show has featured occasional Late Junction Sessions, where two musicians or groups, from different genres, are introduced and record together, exclusively for Late Junction, for the first time. After broadcast, these sessions are available as a podcast for 30 days.[9]

In March 2019, BBC Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey announced that Late Junction was being cut from three episodes a week to a single two-hour slot on Fridays from Autumn 2019.[10] More than 500 people from the world of music, including Brian Eno, Billy Bragg, Jarvis Cocker, Martin Carthy and Eliza Carthy signed an open letter objecting to the cut.[11]


Current presenters[edit]

Former presenters[edit]


  1. ^ "BBC Radio 3 - Late Junction". Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  2. ^ Late Junction playlist and typical example of its diversity.
  3. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (23 June 2002). "Into bed with Fiona and Verity". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
  4. ^ "Antony Pitts - curriculum vitae 2014" (PDF). 4 June 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2014.[dead link]
  5. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Late Junction celebrates 10th anniversary with special studio concert".
  6. ^ "BBC News". BBC News. 8 May 2003. Retrieved 27 March 2013.
  7. ^ a b Mills, Peter (2012). Media and Popular Music - Media Topics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 85. ISBN 9780748627493.
  8. ^ a b c "BBC Radio 3 - Late Junction - Presenters". Retrieved 26 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Late Junction Sessions - Downloads - BBC Radio 3". BBC. Retrieved 15 December 2017.
  10. ^ Luke Turner (15 March 2019). "The BBC cutting Late Junction is a blow for experimental music". The Guardian.
  11. ^ "Radio 3 cuts threaten musical ecosystem". The Guardian. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.

External links[edit]