Radio 4 plans a whole day of Bible readings

BBC Radio 4 plans to broadcast a day of readings from the Bible early next year to mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible.

The station will broadcast 28 readings of 15 minutes each, lasting a total of seven hours, during one Sunday in January. Complaints about this hijacking of the airwaves can be sent to Aquil Ahmed, Head of Religion, BBC, New Broadcasting House, Oxford Road, Manchester, M60 1SJ or online at:

The BBC has also made an enormously expensive serial based on the Nativity, filmed in Morocco, which will be shown over Christmas.

And even as the BBC announced its marathon Bible reading, the Bishop of Norwich urged the Corporation not to cut any religious programmes as part of its economy measures. He said: “As the BBC cuts its budget, we need to stress even more vigorously that the significance of religion in the world is growing. No public broadcaster can ignore it.” Curiously, he omitted to mention that Anglican attendance has dropped by over a third since 1990.

One of the biggest worries for the Church is whether the enormous amount of religion that is broadcast by the World Service will be reduced now that the BBC will have to fund the service itself.