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Radio 2 rejigs Saturday, shifts Dermot O’Leary into a breakfast slot

By | Published on Monday 13 February 2017

BBC Radio 2

Radio 2 has announced a new Saturday schedule which is due to roll out in March and April. It includes no-longer-black-listed Tony Blackburn taking over the ‘Sound Of The 60s’ programme following the departure of my mum’s favourite DJ, Brain Matthew. He’s officially retiring from his weekly show due to “ill-health”, though the man himself wasn’t quite on message when that was announced last month.

I don’t know what my mum will make of Blackburn taking over the weekly ’60s’ show from super laid back Matthew. Though chances are that we’ll never find out, because Radio 2 is also shifting the show into a 6am slot that she’ll never hear to make way for an all-new Dermot O’Leary Saturday breakfast show, which she will hear and almost certainly hate. Sorry Dermot.

I can’t think that O’Leary’s “motivational pep talks for the nation’s children from sporting icons”, “experts telling listeners what movies they should really be watching”, a “Pause For Thought, featuring different contributors from a variety of faiths” or “the biggest names in music performing live Saturday Sessions” are going to appeal to any of the ‘Sounds Of The 60s’ faithful. Though it might force that show’s aging audience to finally work out the on-demand functionality of the BBC RadioPlayer.

Despite Matthew’s departure from Radio 2 not being entirely amicable, he will still return occasionally with ‘The Brian Matthew Years’, a new show in which he will “reflect on his life and times in the world of music”, mainly on bank holiday weekends.

Old school Radio 2 listeners will likely also be disappointed by the news that Bob Harris is stepping down from his Sunday show in a wider rejig of the station’s weekend line-up, though he’ll still be playing an hour of country tunes each Thursday night. And hey old folks, do look out for the new Zoe Ball show in Dermot O’Leary’s old Saturday afternoon slot and Ana Matronic off of the Scissor Sisters doing a midnight show overnight Saturday/Sunday.

“The new Saturday Radio 2 schedule will give listeners a day of music entertainment from some of this country’s most popular and best loved presenters”, says Head Of Radio 2 Lewis Carnie. “Brian Matthew is irreplaceable at 8am on a Saturday morning with ‘Sounds Of The 60s’, so we’re moving [it] to a new time of 6am”, he continued, in the least convincing explanation for shifting an old favourite out of prime time to make way for a new Dermot O’Leary vehicle.

“I’m confident that Tony will delight listeners with his memories and favourite tunes from the decade”, he added, before declaring that: “Dermot’s brand new breakfast show from 8am will wake up the nation in style, and I’m delighted to welcome Zoe and Ana to regular shows on the network”.

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