Up All Night (radio show)

Up All Night is a news and phone-in programme broadcast on the national news/sport station BBC Radio 5 Live in the United Kingdom, and is on air between 1 and 5 am every night. It is also broadcast on most of the BBC's local radio frequencies across England as well as on Radio Scotland, Radio Cymru and Radio Ulster.

Up All Night
Running timeNightly 1  5 am
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Home stationBBC Radio 5 Live
StarringRhod Sharp (Monday - Wednesday nights)
Dotun Adebayo (Friday - Sunday nights)
Recording studioMediaCityUK, Salford, Greater Manchester, UK
Marblehead, Massachusetts, USA
Original release1994 – present
Audio formatFM, AM and Digital radio
WebsiteOfficial website

The Washington Post once described the show as probably the best night-time radio show in the world.[1]


Up All Night has been broadcast continuously since Radio 5 Live's launch on 28 March 1994. The show formerly lasted three hours before extended to four from 1998[2]. One of the show's two main presenters, Rhod Sharp, had proposed the idea of an all-night radio show for the new station that made use of the BBC's correspondents from all over the world.[2] He has continued to present several shows each week ever since. Dotun Adebayo is the show's second main presenter, hosting the show from Friday night to Sunday night. Previous presenters included Richard Dallyn, Dalya Raphael and Russell Fuller.

Up All Night began using guest presenters regularly every Friday morning since 3 November 2017. The first guest was Richard Foster, then Tom Green, and Rachael Bland.

Broadcast locations

Originally broadcast from studios at Broadcasting House, London and then from studios at Television Centre[3], the show's production, along with the rest of the BBC Radio 5 Live scheduled programmes, moved to MediaCityUK, Salford, Greater Manchester in 2012.

After 9/11, where he reported for BBC News, and while taking a sabbatical, Sharp and his wife fell in love with the fishing town of Marblehead, Massachusetts, in the United States. Since 2004 he has presented his nights on the show (Monday to Wednesday), from the town. Initially using the studios and ISDN line of local radio station WESX,[4] since 2007 he has presented the show from a home studio within the couple's 18th-century house in Marblehead’s Old Town section.[1][2] Broadcasting from the United States makes Sharp "pretty unique" among BBC radio hosts, according to former BBC deputy news director Stephen Mitchell.[2]


The show has a heavy interest in the United States and often features news and interviews from there. The Super Bowl has also been broadcast in an extended programme; this however is streamed from another provider and cannot be broadcast live on the Internet for copyright reasons.

The programme has launched a couple of Twitter pages and has a group on Facebook. Some elements of the show are available to download by podcast. Namely; Game On (under the Let's Talk About Tech thread)[5], World Football Phone-In [6] and Dr Karl.[7]

Regular features

The programme has gained a cult audience because of its off-beat approach to the news combined with various regular features (these are usually on at 2 or 2:30am):

  • Monday: The Phone-in, topics have included gardening, parenting and DIY.
  • Tuesday: Game On, video game culture explored. This is the BBC's oldest games focussed strand and has been produced in its current form since 2008. [8]
  • Wednesday: East Coast / West Coast: a regular look at US news and culture from either Los Angeles or New York.
  • Thursday: Science questions to Dr Karl who joins the show from the Australian ABC network.
  • Friday: The North American Sports Show, the first edition was broadcast in September 2018.
  • Saturday: World Football Phone-In, with journalists Tim Vickery (South America), Mina Rzouki (Europe), Jon Arnold (Central and North America), Mark Meadows (Europe), Paul Sarahs (Europe), John Duerden (Asia) and Mark Gleeson (Africa) covering some of the world's football hotbeds.
  • Sunday: The Virtual Jukebox, where callers suggest and then vote on a music track to be added to a growing list of tunes. A playlist is available on Spotify[9]

For many years from the beginning of the programme the film critic, Dave Aldridge was a weekly contributor. In 2007 the programme pioneered a monthly live mental health phone-in with regular guest, Martin Seager, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and adult psychotherapist who heads an NHS psychological services department in the London area.

Another notable former contributor was Cash Peters, who reported from California on the latest US television news.


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