Midweek (BBC Radio 4)

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GenreDiscussion & Talk
Running time45 mins (09.00)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Home stationBBC Radio 4
Hosted byLibby Purves

Midweek was a British weekly radio magazine series broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It was aired on Wednesday at 09.00 and repeated later the same day at 21.00. It was presented by Libby Purves and each week several guests discussed various topics with her. Start the Week and Stop the Week, also broadcast on Radio 4, employ similar formats, although Stop the Week is no longer broadcast. The final broadcast of Midweek aired on 29 March 2017.[1]


In 1986, then-producer Victor Lewis-Smith employed cockney comedian Arthur Mullard as stand-in for Purves who was on holiday. The result was a unique hour of broadcasting which polarised the opinion of its listeners. Lewis-Smith later said, "it was intended to break talk show conventions in a humorous way." 25 years later iPM ran a programme profiling what Purves described as "a piece of post-modern neo-dada performance art subverting the entire genre of Radio 4."[2]

On 19 October 2005, a blazing argument between comedian Joan Rivers and broadcaster Darcus Howe, who were both guests on that week's edition, erupted live on air, after Howe suggested Rivers was offended by the use of the term 'black'. Rivers angrily rejected his suggestion, accusing him of implying she was a racist and called him a 'son of a bitch'. According to a Radio 4 spokeswoman, around twenty people contacted the station, subsequent to the live broadcast, some critical of the swearing, but most "called to say they really enjoyed the debate".[3]


  • Elmes, Simon (2007-09-29). "Meet the disembodied friends of BBC Radio 4". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-01-04.

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