BBC Radio 2 Folk Show host Mike Harding has been told he’ll be hosting his last show on the station on Boxing Day.
He’s been presenting the show, which is broadcast each Wednesday evening for 15 years and is set to be replaced by Mark Radcliffe from January.
Mike told the Guardian “Last Tuesday I got the only phone call I have ever had from Radio 2 – from [controller] Bob Shennan – telling me he was pulling me from the programme. No reason was given beyond that they wanted to make it more ‘live’. No other presenter was mentioned.”
Shennan says: “I’d like to thank Mike Harding, who has spent 15 years at the top of his game, delighting fans with his expertise and rooting out the very best folk music. On his watch, folk has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity and Mike has been key in supporting the genre and introducing Radio 2 listeners to a broad range of new artists. We very much hope to work with him again in the future.”
Mark Radcliffe currently presents Mark Radcliffe’s Music Club on Radio 2 at 11pm each Tuesday. He also co-hosts Radcliffe and Maconie alongside Stuart Maconie on Radio 6 Music from Monday to Friday at 1pm.
He’s delighted with his new show: “I can’t say how thrilled and honoured I am to be doing this. Anyone who knows me, or has seen one of my gigs, knows how steeped in folk I am and it is a joy to be able to combine work and pleasure like this. I am also well aware of how loved and cherished Mike Harding is and it is daunting to be following in his footsteps. He is a friend and someone I respect enormously and I really want to pay tribute to the sterling job he’s done on the Folk Show for so long. Thanks Mike, from all of us.”