Radio 4 is one of the most listened to radio stations in the United Kingdom, only second to Radio 2. The station is owned by the British Broadcasting Corporation and has been broadcasting on the airways since 1967. The station replaced the BBC Home Service radio which was similar in tone, style, and audience. While the station is primarily a UK broadcast channel, the signal can be received in parts of Ireland, France and other northern European countries. The service is also available on digital and cable television services as well as via the internet all over the world.
The station is famous for shows such as The Today Show, Desert Island Discs, The World at One and Woman’s Hour. The station does not play any music focuses more on news and information, however there are several other genres broadcasted on the station including entertainment, comedy, and drama. Between 1 am and 5.20 am, UK time, the station stops broadcasting its own content and instead broadcasts the much respected BBC World Service station.
While some of the shows are pre-recorded such as the dramas and plays, most of the shows are broadcasted live due to their topical and interactive nature. Though it is generally regarded as an excellent source of radio journalism, the station has been subject to a great deal of criticism over the years, especially with regard to the Iraq War and also the recent EU referendum in the United Kingdom. Many argue that the station and BBC as a whole is too politically left and thus not representative of all license fee payers through which the station is funded.
The headquarters of the show is at the BBC’s new broadcasting house in central London. Many of the news readers also double as the station’s announcers. It covers a wide variety of topics from religion to music.