Radio 5 Live is to simulcast the BBC’s flagship political debate, BBC1’s Question Time, from Thursday 16 May.
The weekly topical panel discussion, hosted by David Dimbleby, will be followed on 5 Live by a debate on the issues raised, hosted by Stephen Nolan and John Pienaar.
5 Live’s coverage will start each week at 10pm, 35 minutes before the BBC1 programme airs.
Pienaar’s own programme, Pienaar’s Politics, will move to a more prominent slot at 10am on Sunday from early September.
“With a coalition government in office, and the country still in an economic hole, it’s important to watch our politicians, explain what they’re up to, and hold them to account – while also allowing them to speak for themselves,” Pienaar said. “I’m delighted to be a part of these schedule changes, which will allow us to put an even greater emphasis on strong political debate, and hopefully bring programmes to as many listeners as possible.”
Question Time executive producer Steve Anderson said: “It’s a testament to Question Time’s importance that Radio 5 live now wants to broadcast the programme as it transmits on BBC1. We are delighted the BBC wants to bring even more people to the show and to extend the debate after David Dimbleby has said goodnight.”
Other 5 Live changes will see Tony Livesey join the early-morning Weekend Breakfast team from Saturday 11 May. Eleanor Oldroyd will co-present on Saturdays, while Radio Manchester’s Sam Walker will co-present with Livesey in an extended Sunday morning show that will run until 9am, followed by Garry Richardson’s Sportsweek. Phil Williams will move from weekends to a 10.30pm–1am show, Monday to Wednesday, starting on 13 May.