Insightful programming and diverse content: BBC Radio 4 offers a compelling mix of journalism, comedy, drama, and more.

The BBC Radio 4 Stream

The BBC Radio 4 stream offers a variety of programmes. Insightful journalism, witty comedy and compelling drama are featured alongside readings, history and science.

Radio 4’s long wave service – the traditional crackly home of Test Match Special and the shipping forecast – is to lose programming as audiences move online. But the corporation insists it will keep its commitment to local radio.

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BBC Radio 4 is the second most popular radio station in the UK with 10 million weekly listeners. It offers insightful perspectives on world politics and domestic politics, fascinating features and journalism and diversity through refreshing comedy and compelling readings and drama. It also covers topics in the arts, science and history. It is available in stereo on DAB (except BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra and the shipping forecast) and online via BBC Sounds.

The radio station was launched on 30 September 1967 as part of the BBC home service and broadcasts from Broadcasting house in London. The station has a wide selection of news and spoken word programs including Woman’s Hour, From Our Own Correspondent, Front Row and other live shows and prerecorded podcasts.

These links are individual radio streaming URLs which should work directly within your browser or an internet radio application of your choice. Please note that these streams are not automatically updated.


BBC radio 4 is known for its credible news reporting and high-quality production. It is the second most popular domestic radio station in the UK with over 10 million weekly listeners. Its programming delves into in-depth perspectives on world politics and domestic politics, journalism, arts, science and history. It also features refreshing comedy, compelling drama and interesting readings.

It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967 and is available on FM, digital platforms and long wave. It is often simulcast on local BBC radio stations during overnight hours. The main BBC Radio 4 service consists of news, current affairs, arts and history, as well as original in-house first-run drama and classic comedy. It also includes a range of religious, books and science programming.

The iPlayer radio app allows BBC Radio 4 programmes to be downloaded for 30 days after they are broadcast. You can find them under the ‘Downloads’ section of the iPlayer radio app.


BBC Radio 4 is the UK’s second largest domestic radio station. It offers a wide range of spoken word programmes, from insightful journalism and witty comedy to gripping drama and fascinating features. Its schedule includes a broad mix of news and topical debate, alongside classical music and the classics.

Some programmes on Radio 4 are available as podcasts and can be downloaded to your computer or mp3 player. This allows you to keep the programme on your device for playback whenever you like. If you have problems with listening on your computer or mp3 player you can visit our help pages or call BBC Sounds for assistance.

Radio 4’s longwave service is well known for providing cricket commentary on hot summer days and carries regular shipping forecasts and gale warnings. Closing the service has been suggested, although the BBC maintains it would continue to broadcast in a national emergency – like a war – where other stations could not.


BBC Radio 4 is the UK’s second most popular radio station, renowned for its intelligent speech programme content. It delves into in-depth perspectives on world politics and domestic affairs, while tackling topics in science and history. Its schedule also reflects diversity through refreshing comedy, compelling readings and drama. It offers a variety of music programming and also provides daily news updates, shipping forecasts and the famous crackly Test Match Special cricket commentary.

Many of the programmes on BBC Radio 4 are available as downloads (also known as podcasts). They can be kept on your computer and played whenever you want.

You can host your own radio streaming server on your PC with specialised software such as BUTT, VirtualDJ 8, RadioKing or Rocket Broadcaster. This requires serious technical knowledge and a fast Internet connection. However, entrusting it to a professional broadcasting hosting service like RadioKing is the best option for most users. The stream is then instantly accessible worldwide 24/7.

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