Radio listeners have expressed frustration with the BBC after it moved a long-running Sunday evening religious programme from 8.30pm to 6.00am.
The show, presented by Diane Louise Jordan, will be extended to an hour but critics have described the change in time as an “insult” to the audience.
Announcing the change, the presenter said people who are “still fast asleep at six o’clock” would be able to catch up online.
The Radio 2 show, currently called Sunday Half Hour, has been broadcast since 1940 and covers “biblical themes and spiritual reflection”, including hymns.
From Sunday 20 January the show will be extended to an hour, but on Twitter some listeners described the move as “ridiculous” and “unfair”.
One tweeted: “Moving from 8.30pm to 6am looks like marginalisation.”
Diane Louise Jordan told listeners, “instead of Sunday evenings I will be bringing all your favourite hymns as well as some new ones in a new Sunday morning slot at six o’ clock”.
She added: “Now I know some of you like me are morning lovers and so are always up bright and early or at least have the radio on to help you start your day.
“But for those of you that are still fast asleep at six o’clock there is of course the opportunity to listen to BBC iPlayer so you can still enjoy being part of this very special time we have together.”
A Radio 2 spokesman commented: “We understand how well loved Sunday Half Hour is for many regular Radio 2 listeners so the decision to move the programme has not been taken lightly.
“Over the past decade, the number of people listening to the programme and on Sunday nights generally has declined significantly and early Sunday mornings actually reach a much wider audience than Sunday evenings.”