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BBC Radio 2 changes its tune

Listeners to BBC Radio 2 are getting used to a new melody on its station jingles from today.

One year after switching to Wise Buddah jingles and music imaging for its on air branding, Radio 2 has introduced a new sonic logo to the package.

bbc radio 2 music logo 2013

The new musical logo. Now rush to your piano and play it.

The new seven-note motif, composed by Jem Godfrey at Wise Buddah, will be heard across the station’s musical IDs. It replaces a heritage logo that had been on air for nearly twenty years.

At the same time the station package expands to fifty cuts with ten new tracks inspired by The Kinks, Gloria Estefan and Michael Bublé among others. Jeremy Vine, Mark Radcliffe, Jo Wiley and Steve Lamacq also get personal cuts as part of the refresh.

Why change?

No radio station changes its sonic logo accidentally, especially one that has famously accompanied the station name for as many years as has Radio 2’s. But if you have to change you might as well do it when you’re sitting pretty at the top of the ratings.

Wise Buddah jingles and music imagingThe Wise Buddah-produced jingle package is commissioned via an in-house music publishing arrangement which was explained in detail by Radio 2’s Chris Reay in this podcast from last year. The heritage musical logo, however, was not part of that deal. It was licensed from Groove Addicts in the United States.

Today’s change simplifies the licensing arrangements around the package.

At a time when many BBC services must make savings under the Delivering Quality First prioritisation exercise, this ensures that money previously spent licensing a third-party melodic property from overseas can now come back to the BBC to reinvest in programming for licence fee payers in the UK.

Steve Martin is an ambassador of radio with more than twenty years experience in promotion, marketing and imaging across UK and international stations. He established the BBC’s award winning cross trails department, edits the Earshot Creative blog and hosts its production podcast.


  1. The new tune’s going to take a little getting used to and the new cuts you’ve shown in the video work well, but I’m not sure about some of the older ones we’ve heard this morning. I can’t work out if it’s a ground-up resing or they’ve autotuned it from the old cuts. Unfortunately I suspect the latter as there are some rather strange pitch-bending effects going on in the ‘Ra-di-o’ bit… Either way to my ears it doesn’t really fit. I’m sure I’ll get used to it though.

  2. I love jingles but heard a selection of the new package…its personal taste and I will probably turn out to be in the minority but not impressed so far, too shouty and strident. Especially the personal ID’s.

  3. Yes there has been an improvement in the News jingle – The end is a lot better than the last one. Also there will be less making a mess in using the Strap Line as it appears to be slightly longer. The only problem as someone has already said they are tending to shouty. But overall I have only heard a few of the others like most people but I do like the new logo.

  4. Sorry, but the new jingles are terrible, they sound out of tune, news jingle is awful, traffic is just as bad. The singing is all over the place.

  5. “station package…new track inspired by Gloria Estefan”…

    As a fan, kinda intrigued what that particular cut will sound like…

  6. I have to admit, it was a bit of a surprise when I heard the new logo this morning; thinking “This doesn’t sound QUITE right”. But I have a feeling that after a week or so, it will settle in; and become the norm.
    To darthjedi2005; I’m not 100% sure on this, but I think that the package with the new logo was recorded in the same session as last year’s new Wise Buddah package, I feel that they wanted that new sound to settle down, before using the new logo.

  7. Sorry darthjedi2005; I’ve taken a look at the Wise Buddah website; it’s a resing of last year’s package –

  8. There was nothing wrong with the old music. It’s as if Radio 2 have reverted back to prototype versions,
    I’m sorry to say the new jingles and sonic logos are crap in
    comparison. The new tune is unpleasing to the ears, it doesn’t flow
    properly. It isn’t right, I want the old music back.

  9. Yes, and as for having re-wrote the themes, all that’s been done is some of the notes have been moved a bit which has resulted in the original music been spoiled!

  10. I was a little surprised that they actually used a proper orchestra as opposed to, say, Sibelius with Garritan or something,. But, then again, this is the BBC so I suppose it’s not that surprising, really 🙂 Sounds okay to me.


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