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Sara Cox to take over Radio 2 Drivetime

By | Published on Monday 29 October 2018

Sara Cox

Sara Cox has, as largely expected, been announced as the replacement for Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley on the BBC Radio 2 ‘Drivetime’ show. She will present the 5-7pm slot – an hour shorter than the station’s current drivetime programme – every weekday from January.

The schedule shake-up comes after Mayo’s surprise announcement last week that he will leave Radio 2 at the end of the year. He announced the decision five months after Whiley joined him as co-host on his long-running late afternoon show, an innovation which has proven unpopular with listeners. Whiley will return to an evening slot on the station.

Cox had been one of the favourites to take over from Chris Evans on Radio 2’s breakfast show, although she lost out there to Zoe Ball.

With Ball and Cox presenting the station’s two biggest shows from next year, Radio 2 improves the gender diversity among its presenters, which was the aim of shifting Whiley onto the drivetime show. Although this increase in diversity is a good thing, it seems unlikely that losing Evans and Mayo in the process would have been the preferred choice for BBC bosses.

“I’ve been proud to be part of the Radio 2 family for a few years now”, says Cox. “The opportunity to present such a big show as ‘Drivetime’ – playing fantastic music and hopefully making people smile as they cook tea or head home after a day’s graft – is the icing on what is already a very brilliant cake. I’m beyond chuffed to be given this role and to directly quote my mum on hearing the good news, it is indeed ‘fandabbyruddydozy'”.

With Cox’s current 10pm to midnight weekday slot about to become available, Trevor Nelson will move his Saturday night ‘Rhythm Nation’ show into that position. He says: “To present eight hours a week of the music I love on BBC Radio 2 is a dream come true for me. I’ll be introducing tracks from some soul stars of the future as well as playing some of my favourite songs from the past 50 years of dance music, from Motown to the present day. Bring it on!”

Of both new moves in the schedule, Head Of Radio 2 Lewis Carnie adds: “Sara is hugely popular with the Radio 2 audience and I have every confidence that she’ll make the new ‘Drivetime’ show her very own. Trevor is one of the leading lights in soul music in the UK, and he’ll bring his curated blend of music to Monday to Thursday nights, which I know our listeners will love. With Zoe Ball at Breakfast and Jo Whiley from 7pm-9pm each weekday, 2019 looks to be an extremely exciting year for Radio 2”.

A replacement for Trevor Nelson in his Saturday evening slot is still to be announced.