BBC Radio 4 Extra to broadcast hit US podcast Serial

US podcast to be broadcast daily at 9pm on digital station, beginning with Sarah Koenig re-investigating 1999 murder of high-school student Hae Min Lee in Baltimore

BBC Radio 4 Extra is to bring Serial, the critically lauded US podcast that already has a dedicated UK fanbase hooked via the internet, to a wider British audience.

The BBC digital station will begin airing the weekly podcast, in which journalist Sarah Koenig re-investigates the 1999 murder of the high-school student Hae Min Lee in Baltimore, from Sunday.

Radio 4 Extra will air Serial daily at 9pm until it catches up with the podcasts already available online, at the final stage of Koenig’s cold case investigation.

Hae’s 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison. The case against him was largely based on the story of one witness, Syed’s friend Jay, who testified that he helped to bury Hae’s body.

Syed has always maintained he had nothing to do with the murder. Koenig learned about Syed’s case more than a year ago and started to go through the legal documents and investigator’s notes, listening to trial testimony and police interrogations.

In the podcast, Koenig takes listeners on a personal journey looking into the 15-year-old case for new evidence and the story behind what happened on the day of the crime.

Ira Glass, editorial adviser for Serial said: “We know we already have tons of Serial listeners in the UK, but we love that the BBC will help us reach many, many more than we ever could with podcast alone.”

Gwyneth Williams, controller, Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra says: “We are thrilled to be sharing Serial’s innovative journalism and storytelling with our audiences on Radio 4 Extra.”

Serial will be returning for a second series, after raising money from sponsorship and donations from fans. The podcast is produced by public service radio station WBEZ Chicago.

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Jason Deans

The GuardianTramp

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