Paul O'Grady on the Wireless

Paul O'Grady On The Wireless
Other names The Paul O'Grady Show
Genre Music, Talk
Running time 2 Hours (120 Minutes)
Country United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Radio 2
Host(s) Paul O'Grady
Recording studio Western House, London
Air dates since 2009-Present
Audio format 88–91 FM, DAB digital radio, TV and online
Website Official BBC Website

Paul O'Grady On The Wireless is a radio programme on BBC Radio 2 hosted by the comedian, author and television presenter Paul O'Grady.[1] The show is produced by Malcolm Prince and regularly attracts over two million listeners. The show is broadcast on a Sunday evening on BBC Radio 2 in the United Kingdom and began its run in early 2009. The programme marked Paul's return to the airwaves following numerous stints standing in for other DJs such as Elaine Paige on Sunday. The programme features music and regular items.

Features on the show include:

  • Cocktail Hour — An easy listening song complete with cocktail recommendation.
  • Dead Pets — Eulogies for listeners' recently deceased pets, read by Paul to the backing of 'Just a Closer Walk with Thee' from Live and Let Die.
  • Lost TV theme — Paul plays an old TV theme in full.


O'Grady confirmed to his Radio 2 listeners in 2008 that he would no longer be covering for other DJs' shows at the end of the year, with him finally getting his own show on BBC Radio 2.

Show Format

The show airs from 5pm to 7pm on Sundays and is usually pre-recorded during the preceding week, although it is occasionally broadcast live. The show's format is rather simple, basically consisting of a series of tracks intertwined with emails and messages from listeners, and regular features such as the Cocktail Hour, Wish You Were There, the Lost TV Theme and Thank You.

Current features on the show include:

  • All-Star Triple - Three tracks, played in a row, from the same artist. This first replaced the Motown Triple in the second hour of the programme from October 2010. However, at the end of the year, the 'All Star Triple' has now replaced both the Northern Soul and Motown Triples and features in both hours.
  • Thank You - A chance for listeners to say 'Thank You' to people that have made a positive difference to their lives. Each Thank You message read out by Paul on air receives a 'Certificate of Thanks', signed by Paul and the best letter or email of the week, as chosen by Paul, receives a box of chocolates and a t-shirt.
  • Cocktail Hour - An easy-listening track accompanied by a cocktail recommendation in the second hour of the programme.
  • Lost TV Theme- Each week, in the first hour of the programme, Paul plays a 'lost' TV Theme Tune from an old television programme in full, as well as providing some background information about the programme.
  • Wish You Were There - In the second hour of the programme, Paul plays a relaxing piece of music, designed to 'whisk you away to your own piece of paradise'. 'Wish You Were There' no longer features in every edition of the programme.
  • Hi-NRG Classic- Occasionally, Paul features a 'Hi-NRG Classic' as part of his playlist.
  • Dead Pets- Listeners are invited to pay tribute to their deceased pets. Paul reads out these letters or emails to the Funeral March.
  • Lost Shops/Pubs/- Listeners are invited to write or email to the show to inquire give information about their favourite 'lost' shops or pubs.
  • Lost Film - Occasionally, towards the end of the show, Paul reads out a 'Lost Film' inquiry that has been sent by a listener who wants to know the name of a particular film that they have seen but cannot remember. This film is revisited during a future programme, where listener's responses are read out.
  • Lost Friends - Listener's are invited to email the show if they wish to get in touch with a person that they have lost contact with.
  • It's a Small World - Whenever Paul reads out a letter from a listener not based in the UK, an extract from the song it's a small world (the title song to Disney's series of theme park rides) is played by producer Malcolm Prince. Paul acts disgusted and tries to ruin the clip as much as possible, as he apparently dislikes the song.

From January 2011, each week Paul features a Northern Soul track and a Motown track in his playlist, for any listeners who are missing the extinct triples.

Features that used to regularly appear on the programme, but have now been axed are:

  • Northern Soul Triple - In the first hour of the programme, three Northern Soul tracks were played in a row. This feature was axed at the end of 2010 and has been replaced with the 'All Star Triple'.
  • Motown Triple - In the second hour of the programme, three Motown tracks were played in a row. This feature was axed at the beginning of September 2010 and was replaced with what was then, the new 'All Star Triple'.
  • Competition - In the first few months of the programme, listener's were invited to enter a light-hearted monthly competition. The first competition was entitled "Tea For Two On 2" and ran in April, May, June and July 2009. In the first round, the winner was given the opportunity to have tea with Paul and the team at the studios. In the other three months, the winner would receive a luxury hamper filled with tea, scones, biscuits and cakes, or could have tea with Paul and the team as the 'booby prize'. The second competition was entitled "Pressing Paul" and ran in August, September and October 2009. In each of these months, a listener could win the opportunity to have their washing and ironing taken care of by the show, in order to give themselves a break on a Sunday. Paul did not used to take any of the competitions seriously at all, encouraging people "Please don't enter" and "You could win a luxury hamper filled with tea, scones, jams, biscuits, cakes and trifles...or you could opt for the booby prize and join me and the team for tea in the green room!". The competition feature was 'rested' after the October 2009 competition, but has not returned.

Bill Kenwright sat in for Paul on the show on 2 and 30 August 2009, and Richard Allinson kept the seat warm on Sunday 8 November 2009. From then onwards, throughout 2010, Jodie Prenger has been Paul's regular stand-in, hosting the show on 10 January, 18 and 25 April, 27 June, 1 August and 12 September. She continues to stand in for Paul in 2011, hosting the show on Sunday 2 and Sunday 9 January, before Paul returned on Sunday 16.

On Sunday 14 November, Radio 2 hosted its annual 'Children In Need Music Marathon'. Paul O'Grady was joined by Jodie Prenger in the studio from 4.00pm until 7.00pm on this day, as they took listener's requests, pledges and donations.

Special editions of the programme were also broadcast on Christmas Day 2009, between 11.00am and 1.00pm, and again on Christmas Day 2010, between 10.00am and 1.00pm.

On Sunday 6 November 2011, the second hour of the show was dedicated to an interview with Susan Boyle.

On Sunday 13 November 2011, Radio 2 hosted its 'Children In Need Jukebox'. Paul presented the final two hours of the Jukebox, between 5.00pm and 7.00pm. He was joined in the studio by Jane McDonald in the first hour and Nicki Chapman in the second hour, as they took listener's requests, pledges and donations.

Paul O'Grady will once again present a special Christmas Day Show for 2011, running for three hours between 11.00am and 2.00pm.


The most famous guest that has been on Paul O'Grady On The Wireless is Dame Shirley Bassey. Guests also have included Nicki Chapman and Jane McDonald on Sunday 13 November 2011 for a BBC Children in Need special. Then, on Sunday 25 December 2011 Paul O'Grady hosted a Christmas Day special in which his guests where Cilla Black and Clare Teal.[2]

See also


External links

  • BBC Programmes
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