Cerys Matthews to host new music show for BBC Radio 4

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Cerys Matthews will present a new music show for BBC Radio 4 as part of an expanded arts line-up, which will also see a longer running time for Front Row.

Add To Playlist will be presented by broadcaster and singer Matthews, as well as writer, teacher and broadcaster Jeffrey Boakye.

The station has announced three new arts programmes, while flagship arts show Front Row will be extended to 45 minutes.

Each week the Add To Playlist presenters and guests will build a playlist track by track, connecting each track to the next with their own knowledge of musicology, music history and a touch of serendipity.

Matthews said: “I am so honoured to be launching Radio 4’s brand new music series with Jeffrey.

“It’s going to be a real mix of music styles and tastes, with listeners taken on a journey through the story of music and how it’s interconnected.

“I hope listeners with enjoy the ride, discover something new, and maybe expand their own personal playlists.”

Boakye added: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this series, which I know is going to be incredibly special.

“Cerys and I both share such a deep love of music, and this is the perfect platform for us to bring this passion to BBC Radio 4 listeners.

“‘Excited’ doesn’t even begin to cover it. I can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on.”

A new film show, Screenshot, will be co-hosted by Ellen E Jones and Mark Kermode and will take listeners on a journey through film and screen culture, while This Cultural Life, hosted by John Wilson, will feature in-depth interviews with the most important arts practitioners working today.

BFI London Film Festival
Mark Kermode will present a new film show (Victoria Jones/PA)

From the autumn, Front Row will air from Monday to Thursday at an extended running time of 45 minutes, up from 30 minutes, with two regular presenters, Samira Ahmed and Tom Sutcliffe.

It will feature more regional coverage, as well as interviews and guests from across the arts industry.

Each Thursday, the programme will focus on reviews and criticism of the key new arts openings, publications and events.

Mohit Bakaya, controller of BBC Radio 4, said: “The arts matter. At all times, but especially during periods of uncertainty and change, culture provides an important lens that helps deepen our understanding of the world around us.

“However, the way we are consuming and experiencing the arts and culture is evolving.

“I’d like our arts programming to be even more ambitious, and intellectually curious.

“The new film and music shows will explore our evolving relationship with these two important genres as a result of the changing digital landscape, and the wonderful opportunities for discovery, as well as making fascinating new connections between past and present.

“The expanded Front Row will keep listeners across the most important cultural activity in the UK.

“There will be more space for coverage and review of contemporary film releases, especially, but also a more thorough exploration of the worlds of performance art, the visual arts and literature.

“Finally, This Cultural Life will do for the arts what the Life Scientific has done for science – giving us deep insights into what makes our leading creative minds tick.”

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