Radio Times
Radio Times is a UK weekly television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 and radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

 programme listings magazine
Magazines, periodicals, glossies or serials are publications, generally published on a regular schedule, containing a variety of articles. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, by pre-paid magazine subscriptions, or all three...

, owned by the BBC. It has been published since 1923 by BBC Magazines
BBC Magazines
BBC Magazines is the magazine publishing division of BBC Worldwide, the commercial subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation.A list of the published magazines and the age groups they are targeted towards follows:-Adult:*BBC History*BBC Music...

, which also provides an on-line listings service under the same title. In August 2011 the BBC agreed to sell the title to the UK private equity firm Exponent, subject to approval from Britain's Office of Fair Trading
Office of Fair Trading
The Office of Fair Trading is a not-for-profit and non-ministerial government department of the United Kingdom, established by the Fair Trading Act 1973, which enforces both consumer protection and competition law, acting as the UK's economic regulator...

, which is expected in late 2011.

History and publication

Radio Times was first issued on 28 September 1923, carrying details of BBC radio programmes (newspapers at the time boycott
A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons...

ed radio listings, fearing that increased listenership might decrease their sales). It was at one time the magazine with the largest circulation in Europe.

Until deregulation of television listings in 1991, the Radio Times carried only broadcast programming listings for BBC channels, while the ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

-published magazine, the TVTimes, carried only ITV and (from 1982) Channel Four
Channel 4
Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which began working on 2 November 1982. Although largely commercially self-funded, it is ultimately publicly owned; originally a subsidiary of the Independent Broadcasting Authority , the station is now owned and operated by the Channel...

 listings. Today both publications carry listings for all major terrestrial (analogue
Analog television
Analog television is the analog transmission that involves the broadcasting of encoded analog audio and analog video signal: one in which the message conveyed by the broadcast signal is a function of deliberate variations in the amplitude and/or frequency of the signal...

 and digital
Digital terrestrial television
Digital terrestrial television is the technological evolution of broadcast television and advance from analog television, which broadcasts land-based signals...

), cable and satellite television channels in the United Kingdom. A number of similar magazines, from independent publishers, also exist. However, the Radio Times still lives up to its name by being the most comprehensive source of UK radio listings in print, and also since the 22 May 2007 edition has carried two extra pages of TV listings per day as part of a slight tweak in the publication's format, bringing it up to ten pages of listings per day in total.

Radio Times is published on Tuesdays (its publication day having gradually moved forward from Fridays over many years) and carries listings for the following Saturday through to Friday (this began in 1960, before which issues ran Sunday to Saturday; the changeover meant that Saturday 8 October 1960 was listed twice). The week including Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 and the next week are published as one double-sized issue (a tradition since 1969), in common with most other listing magazines. This usually features a generic festive artwork, atypical for the magazine which since the 1970s has almost exclusively used photographic covers.

There are several regional editions, which each contain different listings for regional programming. All editions carry variations
Regional variations (television)
A regional variation generally refers to times when a radio station or television station simultaneously broadcasts different programmes, continuity or adverts to different parts of its coverage area...

 for adjoining regions and local radio listings. There are now fewer regional editions than there once were because fewer variations in the schedules have led to merging of several editions. The most recent of these is when the Midlands and London/Anglia versions merged into one in August 2007. The exception to this process of merging is Wales, which used to be part of a larger Wales/West (of England) version, mirroring the HTV region.

Each day's television is listed over ten pages or five double-page spreads: two pages of reviews of highlights ("Choices") followed by two pages of terrestrial TV listings (one column for daytime television, and five columns for the evening television), then six pages of listings for digital channels.

Before digital channels became commonplace, a terrestrial day's television was sometimes spread over up to three double-spreads mixed with advertisements, but this format was phased out when independent publishers were allowed to publish television program schedules.

In the years after deregulation of television listings in 1991, there was outcry from other listings magazines that Radio Times was advertised on the BBC (as well as on commercial channels), saying it gave unfair advantage to the publication. The case went to court, but the outcome was that as the Radio Times had close connections with the BBC it would be allowed to be advertised by the BBC; however, it must be a static picture of the cover, and that the clear disclaimer "Other television listings magazines are available" be given (leading to the phrase entering common public usage for a time). By the early 2000s, advertisements for the publication had become sparse on the BBC, and BBC magazines, including the Radio Times, have not been advertised or promoted on BBC television and radio channels since 2005, following a commercial review by the BBC.

The latest circulation figure (July–December 2009) for the Radio Times is 1,000,648 making it third in the TV listings magazine market behind TV Choice (1,302,382) and What's on TV (1,243,933)

Edition BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

Other channels
East Anglia
East Anglia is a traditional name for a region of eastern England, named after an ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom, the Kingdom of the East Angles. The Angles took their name from their homeland Angeln, in northern Germany. East Anglia initially consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk, but upon the marriage of...

English Midlands
The Midlands, or the English Midlands, is the traditional name for the area comprising central England that broadly corresponds to the early medieval Kingdom of Mercia. It borders Southern England, Northern England, East Anglia and Wales. Its largest city is Birmingham, and it was an important...

BBC London
BBC London
BBC London is the BBC English Region producing local radio, television, teletext and online services in London and parts of the surrounding area. Its output includes the daily BBC London News and the weekly Politics Show on television, the BBC London 94.9 radio station and local coverage of the...

, BBC South East
BBC South East
BBC South East is the BBC English Region serving East Sussex, Kent, and parts of Surrey and West Sussex.The BBC region was created in September 2001 by the joining of the Heathfield transmitter , with the Bluebell Hill and Dover transmitters to form a new regional TV service...

, BBC East
BBC East
BBC East is the BBC English Region serving Norfolk, Suffolk, north Essex, Cambridgeshire, northern and central Hertfordshire, most of Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, and parts of Buckinghamshire.-Television:...

, BBC Midlands, BBC East Midlands
BBC East Midlands
BBC East Midlands is the BBC English Region covering Derbyshire, Leicestershire, south Nottinghamshire, South Kesteven and Rutland.-Television:...

ITV London
ITV London
ITV London is the on-air brand name used by ITV Broadcasting Limited for the two Channel 3 broadcast franchises, Carlton Television and London Weekend Television in the London ITV region.-History:...

, ITV Anglia
Anglia Television
Anglia Television is the ITV franchise holder for the East Anglia franchise region. Although Anglia Television takes its name from East Anglia, its transmission coverage extends beyond the generally accepted boundaries of that region. The station is based at Anglia House in Norwich, with regional...

, ITV Central
Central Independent Television
Central Independent Television, more commonly known as Central is the Independent Television contractor for the Midlands, created following the restructuring of ATV and commencing broadcast on 1 January 1982. The station is owned and operated by ITV plc, under the licensee of ITV Broadcasting...

West of England
The West of England is a loose and locationally unspecific term sometimes given to the area surrounding the city and county of Bristol, England, and also sometimes applied more widely and in other parts of South West England.-Use in the Bristol area:...

/South West
South West England
South West England is one of the regions of England defined by the Government of the United Kingdom for statistical and other purposes. It is the largest such region in area, covering and comprising Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. ...

BBC South
BBC South
BBC South is the BBC English Region serving West Sussex, Hampshire, Dorset, western Berkshire, Oxfordshire, south east Wiltshire and the Isle of Wight.-Television:...

, BBC South East
BBC South East
BBC South East is the BBC English Region serving East Sussex, Kent, and parts of Surrey and West Sussex.The BBC region was created in September 2001 by the joining of the Heathfield transmitter , with the Bluebell Hill and Dover transmitters to form a new regional TV service...

, BBC West
BBC West
BBC West is the BBC English Region serving Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.-Television:...

, BBC South West
BBC South West
BBC South West is the BBC English Region serving Devon, Cornwall and the Channel Islands.-Television:BBC South Wests television service consists of the flagship regional news service Spotlight, the opt-out service BBC Channel Islands, the topical magazine programme Inside Out and a 20-minute...

ITV Meridian
Meridian Broadcasting
Meridian Broadcasting is the holder of the ITV franchise for the South and South East of England. The station is owned and operated by ITV plc, under the licensee of ITV Broadcasting Limited....

, ITV West
HTV, now legally known as ITV Wales & West, is the ITV contractor for Wales and the West of England, which operated from studios in Cardiff and Bristol. The company provided commercial television for the dual-region 'Wales and West' franchise, which it won from TWW in 1968...

, ITV Westcountry
Westcountry Television
Westcountry Television, is the ITV franchise holder in the South West of England, replacing its predecessor, TSW , from the 1 January 1993...

, ITV Channel Television
Channel Television
Channel Television is a British television station which has served as an Independent Television contractor to the Channel Islands since 1962. It is based in Jersey...

Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

/North East
North East England
North East England is one of the nine official regions of England. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside . The only cities in the region are Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland...

/North West
North West England
North West England, informally known as The North West, is one of the nine official regions of England.North West England had a 2006 estimated population of 6,853,201 the third most populated region after London and the South East...

BBC Yorkshire
BBC Yorkshire
BBC Yorkshire is one of the English regions of the BBC. It was formed from the division of the former BBC North region into BBC Yorkshire and BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, based in Hull.-Television:...

, BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, sometimes abbreviated to BBC Yorks & Lincs, is the name for the BBC's twelfth English Region, based in Hull and created from the division of the former BBC North region, based in Leeds...

, BBC North East and Cumbria
BBC North East and Cumbria
BBC North East and Cumbria is the BBC English Region covering Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, North Yorkshire, Teesside and all but the southern part of Cumbria...

, BBC North West
BBC North West
BBC North West is the BBC English Region serving Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire, Walsden in West Yorkshire, the Isle of Man , north-west Derbyshire, the Yorkshire Dales including Settle and Ribblesdale, and southern Cumbria.BBC North West television output is also broadcast in...

ITV Yorkshire
Yorkshire Television
Yorkshire Television, now officially known as ITV Yorkshire and sometimes unofficially abbreviated to YTV, is a British television broadcaster and the contractor for the Yorkshire franchise area on the ITV network...

, ITV Tyne Tees
Tyne Tees Television
Tyne Tees Television is the ITV television franchise for North East England and parts of North Yorkshire. As of 2009, it forms part of a non-franchise ITV Tyne Tees & Border region, shared with the ITV Border region...

, ITV Granada
Granada Television
Granada Television is the ITV contractor for North West England. Based in Manchester since its inception, it is the only surviving original ITA franchisee from 1954 and is ITV's most successful....

Border Country
Border Country is a novel by Raymond Williams. The book was re-published in December 2005 as one of the first group of titles in the Library of Wales series, having been out of print for several years. Written in English, the novel was first published in 1960.It is set in rural South Wales, close...

BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland
BBC Scotland is a constituent part of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the publicly-funded broadcaster of the United Kingdom. It is, in effect, the national broadcaster for Scotland, having a considerable amount of autonomy from the BBC's London headquarters, and is run by the BBC Trust, who...

, BBC North East and Cumbria
BBC North East and Cumbria
BBC North East and Cumbria is the BBC English Region covering Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham, North Yorkshire, Teesside and all but the southern part of Cumbria...

STV (North
Grampian Television
Grampian Television is the ITV franchisee for the North and North East of Scotland. Its coverage area includes the Scottish Highlands , Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee and parts of north Fife...

 and Central
Scottish Television
Scottish Television is Scotland's largest ITV franchisee, and has held the ITV franchise for Central Scotland since 31 August 1957. It is the second oldest ITV franchisee still active...

), ITV Border
Border Television
Border Television is the ITV franchise holder for the Border region, spanning the England/Scotland border and covering Dumfries & Galloway region, a small part of the south-west area of Ayrshire, the Scottish Borders, parts of north and west Northumberland and the majority of Cumbria...

Wales BBC Wales
BBC Wales
BBC Cymru Wales is a division of the British Broadcasting Corporation for Wales. Based at Broadcasting House in the Llandaff area of Cardiff, it directly employs over 1200 people, and produces a broad range of television, radio and online services in both the Welsh and English languages.Outside...

ITV Wales
HTV, now legally known as ITV Wales & West, is the ITV contractor for Wales and the West of England, which operated from studios in Cardiff and Bristol. The company provided commercial television for the dual-region 'Wales and West' franchise, which it won from TWW in 1968...

S4C , currently branded as S4/C, is a Welsh television channel broadcast from the capital, Cardiff. The first television channel to be aimed specifically at a Welsh-speaking audience, it is the fifth oldest British television channel .The channel - initially broadcast on...

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

BBC Northern Ireland
BBC Northern Ireland
BBC Northern Ireland is the main public service broadcaster in Northern Ireland.The organisation is one of the three national regions of the BBC, together with BBC Scotland and BBC Wales. Based at Broadcasting House, Belfast, it provides television, radio, online and interactive television content...

UTV is a television channel based in the UK region of Northern Ireland. The channel is the Channel 3 or Independent Television licensee for Northern Ireland and is operated by UTV Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of UTV Media.- Terrestrial :* Analogue: Normally tuned to 3 * Freeview : 3...

TV3 Ireland
TV3 is a free-to-air commercial television network in the Republic of Ireland. Launched on 20 September 1998 it was Ireland's first commercial broadcaster. The channel is owned by TV3 Group a subsidiary of Doughty Hanson & Co.-The TV3 Group:...


When the magazine was a BBC publication, covers had a BBC bias (in 2005, 31 of the 51 issues had BBC-related covers). Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior...

is the most represented programme on the cover, appearing on 29 issues (with 35 separate covers due to multiples) in the 48 years since the programme began
An Unearthly Child
The serial that became An Unearthly Child was originally commissioned from writer Anthony Coburn in June 1963, when it was intended to run as the second Doctor Who serial. At this stage, it was planned that the series would open with a serial entitled The Giants, to be written by BBC staff...


Most covers consist of a single side of glossy paper. However, the magazine often uses double or triple-width covers that open out for large group photographs, while events such as Crufts
Crufts is an annual international Championship conformation show for dogs organised and hosted by the Kennel Club, currently held every March at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England. It is the largest annual dog show in the world, as declared by Guinness World Records, and lasts...

 or new series of popular programmes are marked by producing several different covers for collectors. Sporting events with more than one of the Home Nations
Home Nations
Home Nations is a collective term with one of two meanings depending on the context. Politically, it means the nations of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom...

 taking part are often marked with different covers for each nation, showing their own team. The second series of Life on Mars
Life on Mars (TV series)
Life on Mars is a British television series broadcast on BBC One between January 2006 and April 2007. The series combines elements of science fiction and police procedural....

, meanwhile, was marked by the Radio Times producing a mock-up of a 1973-style cover promoting the series, placed on page 3 of the magazine.

In April 2005, a double-width cover was used to commemorate the return of the Dalek
The Daleks are a fictional extraterrestrial race of mutants from the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Within the series, Daleks are cyborgs from the planet Skaro, created by the scientist Davros during the final years of a thousand-year war against the Thals...

s to Doctor Who and the forthcoming general election
United Kingdom general election, 2005
The United Kingdom general election of 2005 was held on Thursday, 5 May 2005 to elect 646 members to the British House of Commons. The Labour Party under Tony Blair won its third consecutive victory, but with a majority of 66, reduced from 160....

. This cover recreated a scene from the 1964 Doctor Who serial The Dalek Invasion of Earth
The Dalek Invasion of Earth
The Dalek Invasion of Earth is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from November 21 to December 26, 1964....

in which the Daleks were seen crossing Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge
Westminster Bridge is a road and foot traffic bridge over the River Thames between Westminster on the north side and Lambeth on the south side, in London, England....

, with the Houses of Parliament
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

 in the background. The cover text read "VOTE DALEK!" In a 2008 contest sponsored by the Periodical Publishers Association
Periodical Publishers Association
The Professional Publishers Association - formerly known as the Periodical Publishers Association - is a publishing industry body which promotes and protects the interests of companies involved in the production of consumer, customer and business media in the United Kingdom.The PPA's work is...

, this cover was voted the best British magazine cover of all time.


When it launched in September 1923 an issue of Radio Times cost just 2d (2 old pence). This price remained the same until January 1951 when it increased to 3d and by September 1963 it had doubled to 6d. By October 1970 the price had doubled again to 1 shilling (5p in decimal currency). The price remained at 5p until the summer of 1974 when it rose to 8p. In 1984, the year that Radio Times began to be web-offset printed, the price was 30p.

2007 saw an issue cost £1 for the first time.

The current price of an issue, since November 2010 (as of the edition 1st December 2011, covering programmes from 10th - 16th December 2011) is £1.20. The most recent Christmas double issue (2010) cost £2.40. Since decimalisation
Decimal currency is the term used to describe any currency that is based on one basic unit of currency and a sub-unit which is a power of 10, most commonly 100....

the price has risen by an average of 2.875p per year.

Radio Times Guide to Films

Since 2000, BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide
BBC Worldwide Limited is the wholly owned commercial subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation, formed out of a restructuring of its predecessor BBC Enterprises in 1995. In the year to 31 March 2010 it made a profit of £145m on a turnover of £1.074bn. The company had made a profit of £106m...

 has published the Radio Times Guide to Films, featuring more than 21,000 films in a 1,707-page book. The 2006 edition was edited by Kilmeny Fane-Saunders and featured an introduction by Barry Norman
Barry Norman
Barry Leslie Norman, CBE is a British novelist, impresario, film critic and media personality. He was the BBC film critic on television from 1972 to 1998.-Early life:...

, former presenter of the BBC's Film Programme
The Film programme
The Film programme is a British film review television programme, broadcast weekly on BBC One, presented by Claudia Winkleman and Danny Leigh. The title of the show changes each year to incorporate the year of broadcast, with the current series being Film 2011, but when referring to successive...


The Radio Times Guide to Films 2007 is introduced by Andrew Collins
Andrew Collins (broadcaster)
Andrew Collins is the creator and writer of Radio 4 sitcom Mr Blue Sky. His TV writing work includes EastEnders and the sitcoms Grass and Not Going Out .-Personal life:Collins was a member of the Labour Party between the late 1980s and early 1990s, leaving after Labour's...


There are also similar publications, the Radio Times Guide to Comedy and the Radio Times Guide to Science-Fiction.


The Radio Times website uses hCalendar microformats
hCalendar is a microformat standard for displaying a semantic HTML representation of iCalendar-format calendar information about an event, on web pages, using HTML classes and rel attributes....

, so that individual listing entries can be downloaded directly into calendar applications.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.