You can now download your favourite BBC radio shows

The iPlayer radio app will allow downloads for the first time later this week

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If you’ve spent many a morning frustrated that you can’t listen to the News Quiz on your commute, then you’re in luck – BBC radio will soon be free for download on tablets, smartphones and other internet devices.

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Programmes from The Archers to Radio 1’s Essential Mix will become available in the software update to the BBC iPlayer app, which should be completed on iOS, Android or Kindle by Friday of this week (just in time for the BBC Proms). Previously, only special podcasts could be downloaded from the app.

Of course, fans of BBC TV have been able to download their favourite shows with abandon using iPlayer for years, but radio programmes have apparently been excluded from this until now due to software limitations.

“With over 860m requests for radio streams across all devices on BBC iPlayer Radio in 2014, we’re thrilled to bring offline listening to our audiences,” said BBC Digital general manager of product for radio and music Andrew Scott.

“We know this is something they’ve been asking for and we have been working hard to make it possible.”

BBC radio controller for multiplatform Mark Friend added: “The spectacular success of the BBC’s podcasts, with around 70m downloads in May, shows that people want to download high-quality audio to listen to at their convenience.”

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“Extending this to make almost all of the BBC’s radio programmes downloadable, including comedy, music and drama, will delight our audience which has been asking for this. From The Proms and the Essential Mix to Just a Minute and Afternoon Drama, things won’t be the same again with your favourite BBC shows at your fingertips and easy to listen to on the move.”