| 23 Sep 2023
BBC Russian presenter Seva Novgorodsev MBE to sign off after 38 years of broadcasting

MUMBAI: BBC Russian service’s iconic presenter, Seva Novgorodsev, will sign off from his programme, BBSeva, for the last time on Friday 4 September 2015, culminating his 38-year broadcasting career with the BBC.

Seva says, “It is really hard to wrap up my 38 and half years as a BBC broadcaster. How do I say goodbye to my listener? With their response over these decades, my audience has also shaped up my broadcasts and my life. So I’ll just say: we are all temporary but the BBC is forever.”

Seva started to present BBC Russian’s Pop-music Programme from London in 1977, later transforming it into his celebrated Rock-posevy, introducing major recording artists such as Queen, David Bowie, Deep Purple etc to the Soviet audience. A unique window on Western, and especially British, pop-culture for people in the Soviet Union, the programme made Seva a household name for millions. With his trademark informal, wisecracking style, Seva won himself – and the BBC - a vast fan base from across the USSR. The programme also shaped up his fame as the ‘first Russian DJ’.

The weekly music-and-chat show, Sevaoborot, which Novgorodsev initiated and authored in 1987, turned into a cult among Russian-speaking radio listeners. Since 2003, Novgorodsev’s daily live programme, BBSeva (which has been available on, has been bringing ‘news with a human face’. It has been looking at current affairs from a human-interest angle, with a special focus on arts and culture.

In 2005, Seva was awarded an MBE for services to radio broadcasting.

BBC World Service European Hub, Editor, Artyom Liss, comments: “Seva Novgorodsev represents the best the BBC has to offer. Informative, witty, relevant - his broadcasts have been truly legendary. For decades, they occupied a very special place in millions of hearts. Seva is signing off as a broadcaster, but we are not saying farewell - his association with the BBC will continue, albeit in a different format.”

Seva’s unique contribution to BBC Russian will be marked with dedicated output. His last broadcast will air live from Pushkin House in London – an event with invited guests which will celebrate the pivotal points of Seva’s career. The programme will feature many of the people Seva interviewed over the years.

A specially commissioned TV documentary - with the title echoing Seva’s famous sign-off “Seva. Seva Novgorodsev. The City of London. BBC” - will air on its website and BBC World Service’s partner TV station in Russia, Dozhd TV on Friday 4 September. Filmed in London, Tallinn and St Petersburg, it tells Seva’s amazing story, from childhood in the family of a Soviet sea captain, to ship’s officer, to jazz musician, to BBC broadcaster. It features, along with Seva, major Russian cultural figures who speak about the role of his BBC broadcasts in their formation as musicians and as personalities.

Also on Friday 4 September, Seva will hold a live conversation with audiences on the BBC Russian Facebook page.

BBC Russian is part of BBC World Service.