Belfast Telegraph

Radio 4 will not axe Saturday Review, controller says

Gwyneth Williams announced the broadcaster has gone back on plans to cancel the weekend arts show.

Radio 4’s Saturday Review arts programme will continue to stay on air following previous plans to axe it, the station’s controller has said.

The news marks a turnaround on plans to cancel the discussion show, presented by Tom Sutcliffe, to make way for an extension of the regular Front Row programme.

Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams said: “The initial decision to close Saturday Review was a difficult one to make, but after a great deal of consideration I will be keeping the show on air at this time.

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Front Row is the radio station’s flagship arts programme (Anthony Devlin/PA)

“Bearing in mind the challenging financial climate, I am glad that, for now, I’m able to have both Front Row and Saturday Review as part of Radio 4’s ambitious and wide-ranging arts content.”

The station had planned to broadcast Saturday Review for the last time in September and introduce a digest edition of Front Row, its flagship arts and culture programme that has been running for 20 years.

Front Row airs on weeknights at 7.15pm, the same time as Saturday Review.

After announcing the cut earlier this year, Ms Williams said it was a “difficult decision” that had to be made to “safeguard the overall range and breadth of content on Radio 4 whilst delivering savings”.

According to performing arts publication The Stage, Sutcliffe said at the time: “Sadly (for me anyway) Saturday Review closes shop later this year. I’ve loved doing it.”

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