September 30, 1957: Network Three begins broadcasting on the BBC Third Programme

The BBC Third Programme (1946-1970) originally broadcast for six hours each evening, but its output was cut to just 24 hours a week from September 30, 1957 at 6.15pm, with the early part of weekday evenings being given over to educational programming (known as “Network Three”).

Network Three continued to appear in the Radio Times until September 29, 1967. The following day, the BBC launched Radios 1, 2, 3, and 4 when The Third Programme/Network Three became BBC Radio 3. However, it was not until April 4, 1970 when all the elements of the BBC’s “third network” were finally absorbed into Radio 3 with rebranding.

Programme Highlights on Network Three

  • October 5, 1957 at 7.00pm – Record Review is revived and continues until September 1967 when it moves to the new Radio 3.
  • September 20, 1960 at 7.15pm – Farming Today
  • June 24, 1961 at 11.25am – Test Match Special switches from the Light Programme. However, it finishes there in July 1961. On Network Three it continues to August 1967.
  • October 8, 1961 at 2.40pm – In Touch


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