Complete List of Alexa Commands for BBC Sounds

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  • Post last modified:April 15, 2021

The BBC has recently shaken up it’s Alexa offering, now integrating directly with Alexa via the BBC Sounds app, as opposed to working through TuneIn as before.

Initially there were a few bugs, but it now provides a seamless connection and allows you to choose between previous shows and podcasts as well as listening to live radio.

When you first use any of the below Alexa commands, it will enable the BBC Sounds skill which can be found under the skills section of the Alexa app.

Here is a full list of the Alexa commands for BBC Sounds:

  • “Alexa, play BBC radio 1”
  • “Alexa, play BBC radio 1 on ”
  • “Alexa, play BBC news” – plays the latest news bulletin
  • “Alexa, ask BBC to play [name of show]“
  • “Alexa, ask BBC to play [name of podcast]”
  • “Alexa, previous” – skip back to previous episode of show or podcast
  • “Alexa, next” – skip forward to next episode of show or podcast
  • “Alexa, ask BBC to skip forward X seconds”
  • “Alexa, ask BBC to skip forward X minutes”
  • “Alexa, ask BBC to rewind X seconds”
  • “Alexa, ask BBC to rewind X minutes”
  • “Alexa, ask the BBC what’s playing” – name of current show or podcast

Once you have connected your BBC account in the Alexa app, you’ll have access to a few additional features to resume playback of shows and podcasts you already started listening to.

  • “Alexa, ask BBC to play” – pick up where you last left off
  • “Alexa, ask BBC to continue playing [name of show]”
  • “Alexa, ask BBC to continue playing [name of podcast]”

They continue to work on this integration and we home they bring some of the other functions of the BBC Sounds app to Alexa.

Other features that we’d love to see come to Alexa via the BBC Sounds skill are playing straight from the ‘My Sounds’ list, using the sleep timer (although Alexa has her own sleep timer anyway) and playing by category rather than selecting specific shows.

You can also use the app within Alexa routines by typing in the exact phrasing of the commands as a ‘customized routine’. This allows you to wake up to your favourite radio show.


I have been building up my smart home since 2016 so I'm a bit of a smart home expert by now. On this blog, I share my favourite smart home devices that I've tested along with tips and tricks I learn by watching countless YouTube videos, scrolling through forums, and tinkering around with my own smart devices. I've always been a Google Home user but I'm starting to think Alexa might have the edge, what do you think?