Summer Of ’96 Season for Radio 2

Rewind back to 1996 with BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 2 bring delights aplenty to listeners across June, July and August, with a celebration of the Summer of ’96, including Richard E Grant presenting Spice Up Your Life! about Spice Girls’ incredible launch into the music world; My Life In A Mixtape with Mel C; Gabby Logan presents Euro 96 – When Football Came Home, reliving that memorable tournament and the news and music around it; Beatles: Reborn In ’96 about their resurgence to a whole new audience, following the release of their Anthology series and much more.

The programmes look back at the music, the movies, the sport and the news stories, alongside the memories of those who were there, in stadiums, in cinemas, and watching and listening at home. As well as on BBC Radio 2, all the shows will be available on the BBC Sounds app.

Sounds Of The 90s with Fearne Cotton will be celebrating 1996 across three shows with a Euros ’96 Mixtape (Friday 18 June), a Smash Hits Special (2 July) and a look at Top Of The Pops from that year (9 July). Euro 96 – When Football Came Home, Gabby Logan travels back 25 years to celebrate that unforgettable summer and retell the story of when football really did come home. Gabby remembers Gazza’s wonder goal and ‘dentist chair’ celebration against Scotland at Wembley, Seaman’s Spanish shoot-out heroics, the tears of a young Gareth Southgate, and, of course, the story behind the song that defined it all – Three Lions.

The programme also relives iconic moments from the tournament through BBC archive commentary and hears from players, managers, broadcasters and fans, alongside some of the biggest tracks of the year.

The Sounds Of 1996 Fearne Cotton introduces an audio collage of 1996. The year of Euro 96, also the year of Damon Hill’s biggest Formula One success, while Michael Johnson won both the 200m and 400m at the Olympics. Tragedies in Dunblane and Manchester dominated the news. The film adaptation of Trainspotting was met with both outrage and acclaim. And while Take That went their separate ways, a new pop sensation, the Spice Girls, couldn’t wait to ‘zig-a-zig-ah!’ Beatles: Reborn In ’96 looks back twenty-five years to when The Beatles wrapped up their past and discovered a future. In late 1995/early 1996 the Anthology series – three double CDs and a multi-part TV documentary – came out, and, as a result, The Beatles sold more records in a single year than at any point since they broke up.

Pick Of The Pops: 1996 Paul Gambaccini counts downs a July chart from 1996, with hits including Oh Yeah from Ash, The Fugees’ Killing Me Softly and Don’t Stop Movin’ from Livin’ Joy. Spice Up Your Life, Radio 2 marks the anniversary of the Spice Girls’ debut single – Wannabe – and the start of their global domination of the music world that followed its release.

Actor Richard E Grant, who was in the movie Spice World, embarks on a nostalgic journey revisiting the much-loved songs of the Spice Girls canon. Since Wannabe was released in 1996, the girls began a journey which led to them selling 90m records around the world, as well as winning American Music Awards, ASCAP Awards, Billboard Music Awards, Brit Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, and Ivor Novello Awards. Even now, 25 years on, the opening ‘Yooooo’ to the track still has the power to provoke a big reaction. Sticking with spice My Life In A Mixtape with Mel C will bring to Beeb radio Melanie Chisholm – aka Mel C and Sporty Spice – as she takes listeners on a very personal mix-tape journey, sharing the stories behind the songs that have been the soundtrack to her life.

6 Films You Loved In 1996 features movie critic James King as he celebrates the summer of ’96 with a look at the making of six seminal films released that year. For each film there’s a look behind the curtain at how they were made, starting with the man who made that year’s most memorable summer blockbuster, Mission Impossible, possible – stunt coordinator Greg Powell.

As well as the ’96 season there’s also a celebration of jazz great Louis Armstrong to mark the anniversaries of both his birth and death; Romesh Ranganathan: For The Love Of Hip Hop is a new series about hip hop, presented by Romesh giving a beginner’s guide to the music; Legacy Of A Lioness: Amy Winehouse marks 10 years since Amy’s death; and Scott Mills celebrates 35 years of his favourite soap, Neighbours.

“Whether it’s enjoying the timeless appeal of artists such as The Beatles, Louis Armstrong or Amy Winehouse, being given an introduction to hip hop by Romesh Ranganathan or reliving the joy and pain of Euro 96, there’s something for everyone on Radio 2 this summer.”

-Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2

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