RADIO 2 bosses have defended a decision to move one of the BBC's longest-running shows to a new slot and cut the number of hours of religious programming on a Sunday.

The move of Sunday Half Hour to an early-morning time of 6am has prompted 147 complaints from the public as the programme shifts from 8.30pm from January 20.

The revamp by station controller Bob Shennan also means faith programming is being reduced by half-an-hour.

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Sunday Half Hour – hosted by Diane Louise Jordan – was first broadcast in 1940 on the Forces Programme.

The programme will expand to an hour, replacing the first hour of Good Morning Sunday which gets a two-hour slot hosted by Clare Balding.