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Helen Boaden
"The network is my life-blood"
 real 28k

Thursday, 2 March, 2000, 15:40 GMT
New boss for Radio 4
John Humphrys
John Humphrys fronts the station's flagship news show Today
BBC Radio 4 has appointed its first woman controller in more than 20 years.

Helen Boaden, 44, will takeover from the station's present number one James Boyle when he retires at the end of March.

Currently head of current affairs and business programmes for BBC News, Boaden's new role makes her only the second woman to take the helm of the corporation's prestigious speech station since Monica Sims in 1978.


Boaden has a distinguished track record within the BBC
Boaden said she was "absolutely delighted" with her appointment and paid tribute to her immediate predecessor.

"James Boyle has done a great job and the results of his changes are showing through in the network's increasingly buoyant listening figures.

"I will cherish Radio 4, ensuring it is the best of companions and the most stimulating of friends."

Boaden began her journalistic career in 1979 working with the New York radio station WBAI.

She joined the BBC in 1983 as a news producer with Radio Leeds. She has since gone on to achieve some distinguished credits within Radio 4.

Award-winning

She was editor of the station's weekly current affairs programme File on 4, during which time she picked up a Sony award and other accolades for specialist journalism.


Helen's proven passion for Radio 4 will shine through in the relationship she builds with the audience and the programme-makers

Jenny Abramsky, BBC director of radio
Established listeners to the long-running magazine programme Woman's Hour will also know Boaden as one of its former presenters.

Elsewhere within the Radio 4 output, she has also produced and presented a range of features and documentaries.

In 1997 she became head of business programmes and a year later she also took on responsibility for current affairs - the first woman to do the job.

The BBC's director of radio Jenny Abramsky said: "Helen's proven passion for Radio 4 will shine through in the relationship she builds with the audience and the programme-makers.

"I am delighted that such a stalwart supporter and contributor to Radio 4 will be taking it into the future."

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See also:

16 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
Boyle steps down at Radio 4
09 Feb 00 |  Entertainment
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