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'Men's Hour' to return to Radio 5 Live

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The BBC has announced that Men's Hour - a male version of Radio 4's Women's Hour - has been re-commissioned for a longer series of programmes on Radio 5 Live.

The show, which debuted with a six-part series on the station this summer, will return for a one-off special at Christmas and then a longer run in spring 2011.

Hosted by Tim Samuels, the programme was created to "delve into uncharted emotional territory for men", including topics such as relationships, health and parenthood.

Billed as Women's Hour's "cheeky younger brother", it covered a range of challenging subjects, including the realities of caring for a newborn baby, office meltdowns and how to survive in prison.

In its six-week run, contributors included Louie Spence, Andy McNab, Mark Ronson, Wayne Hemingway, Martin Freeman and Neil Morrissey.

"We've had an amazing array of blokes opening up on a vast range of subjects - from life-changing experiences to the most peculiar examples of hypochondria," said Samuels.

"The alchemy of guests, topics and tone has really given us something to build on when we come back. Give us 64 years and Men's Hour might just become the new Woman's Hour."

The show's producer Jon Holmes added: "Men's Hour has popped its radio cherry, sped through puberty in six weeks and looks forward to spending its teenage years furtively hanging around the schedules of 5 Live when we return."

There was widespread scepticism in the media about the show when it was first announced, but many female commentators have since been won over.

The Daily Telegraph's radio critic Gillian Reynolds said: "I've warmed to it... I love 60 Second Hypochondria, I think that's really good. I think Dr Mark is terrific. That's something that could run and run."

Radio 5 Live commissioning editor Jonathan Wall added: "Men's Hour wasn't going to join Woman's Hour as a national broadcasting institution within six programmes!

"But I do think Tim and the team have provided some intelligent, thought-provoking and entertainingly honest discussion which has convinced us to commit to a longer series next year.

"I am delighted that some of the critics who thought it was just a PR stunt appear to have been won over by the quality of the live discussion and the open and frank views of the contributors."

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