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Zoe Ball to replace Chris Evans as Radio 2 breakfast host

By | Published on Thursday 4 October 2018

Chris Evans & Zoe Ball

Zoe Ball has been named as Chris Evans’ successor on the BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, becoming the first woman to host the programme in its more than 50 years on air. She will take up the position in January.

Evans announced last month that he was leaving Radio 2 after eight years presenting the breakfast show, he having taken over from Terry Wogan in 2010. It was subsequently revealed that he was moving to do the same show on digital station Virgin Radio.

Zoe Ball was immediately among the favourites to replace Evans and said yesterday: “I’m absolutely THRILLED to be following in the giant footsteps of Chris Evans as the host of the ‘Radio 2 Breakfast Show’. To be the first woman to present this very special show is both an honour and privilege”.

She went on: “Believe me, I’m not underestimating the enormity of the task ahead, to follow not one but two of my broadcasting idols, into such a well-loved show is somewhat daunting. I hope, in the same way that Chris made this show his own after taking over from the wonderful Sir Terry Wogan, that with a top team alongside me, I can bring the fabulous Radio 2 audience a show they want to wake up to”.

Ball has previous breakfast radio experience, of course. She co-hosted the Radio 1 breakfast show with Kevin Greening in 1997, before becoming the first woman to present that show solo a year later. More recently, she has worked as a relief presenter on Radio 2 since 2006, covering various presenters while they were away, including Chris Evans. Since last year, she has also had her own Saturday afternoon show on the station.

“I’m delighted that Zoe is the new host of the ‘Radio 2 Breakfast Show'”, says Head Of Radio 2 Lewis Carnie. “She’s a hugely talented and much loved presenter who brings over 25 years broadcasting experience to the network. She’s already built a loyal audience via her Saturday afternoon show, and I know she’ll be a huge hit with the listeners”.

Another favourite to take over from Evans was Sara Cox, who succeeded Ball on the Radio 1 breakfast show in 2000. While she doesn’t get top billing, she will present the breakfast show on Radio 2 for ten weeks of the year, covering for Ball when she’s away. She will also continue to host her own weekday evening show.

Elsewhere in BBC Radio news, Radio 2 and 6 Music presenter Mark Radcliffe has announced that he is taking a break from broadcasting while he undergoes treatment for cancer. Radcliffe announced his diagnosis on his Radio 2 folk show yesterday evening, wishing listeners a merry Christmas and telling them that he will return in the new year.

On Twitter, he wrote: “Now – here’s a thing – I’m sad to say that I’ve got some cancerous tongue and lymph node issues and so, as I’m sure you’ll understand, I’m going to be disappearing for a while. It’s all been caught very early and so everything should be fine”.

Meanwhile, over on Radio 1 and 1Xtra, Charlie Sloth has announced that he is leaving, after ten years at the BBC. In a statement, he said: “After almost ten years of dedicating my life to BBC Radio 1Xtra and Radio 1 and achieving everything I set out to, I’ve decided the time has come to leave the BBC and seek a new challenge … I hope all my colleagues at 1Xtra and Radio 1 keep up the amazing work, it’s been an incredible place to work and I’m honoured to have done so. I joined the BBC as a boy and I leave as a man”.

Sloth’s final edition of ‘The Eighth’ on Radio 1 will be broadcast on 1 Nov, while his last 1Xtra ‘Rap Show’ will go out on 3 Nov. His departure comes weeks after DJ Semtex left 1Xtra after fifteen years, moving to a new job at Spotify. Replacements for both presenters, and Sloth’s next role, are still to be announced.

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