The Strand (radio programme)

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The Strand
GenrePublic broadcasting
Home stationBBC World Service
Hosted byHarriett Gilbert
Mark Coles
Anna McNamee
Original release27 October 2008 (2008-10-27) – 29 March 2013 (2013-03-29)

The Strand was the BBC World Service's daily arts show. It was launched on Monday, 27 October 2008. The last weekday edition was aired on Friday, 29 March 2013 and the last weekly summary on the weekend after. It was regularly hosted by Harriett Gilbert, Mark Coles, Anna McNamee, and Bidisha.[1] The programme's title came from the Strand, a busy street in London close to the World Service's former studios at Bush House on Aldwych.


Harriett Gilbert regularly presented the Monday and Friday editions, as well as the new hour-long version of long-standing BBC World Service programme, World Book Club, on the first Saturday of every month. She said about the programme, "I'm delighted to be presenting The Strand. As a daily programme, it will be a great position to reveal, explore and debate developments as they happen in the world of the arts – including, of course, the world of literature."

Mark Coles, who previously hosted The Beat and The Ticket on the World Service, is also a music journalist and won the Sony Reporter of the Year Award in 1993.[2]

The first programme featured: Roger Moore talking about his autobiography; a report on the cultural life available to the people of Gaza, in particular what people in Gaza are watching on satellite TV and how it affects their view of the world; a review of AC/DC's album Black Ice; and an interview with Steve McQueen about his film Hunger.

The Strand replaced a number of existing World Service arts programmes such as The Word, The Beat, On Screen, Culture Shock and The Ticket.[3]

Editions have also been presented by Lawrence Pollard, Louise Fryer, Rajan Datar, Tim Marlow, and Aminatta Forna.

The arts topics have now been integrated in the show Outlook which has been extended to one hour, beginning on Monday, 1 April 2013.

World Book Club[edit]

World Book Club, an hour long programme, occupies some of The Strand's slots in the schedule on the first Saturday in each month and during repeats on following days. Some of the "repeats" are a version edited to fit the usual half-hour slots of The Strand. World Book Club was previously a half-hour programme broadcast on the last Tuesday in each month in the slot of the now defunct book programme The Word.

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