Bates and Parsons out as Smooth relaunches
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Bates and Parsons out as Smooth relaunches

Simon Bates and Lynn Parsons are leaving Smooth Radio to make way for a new line-up as the station re-launches under Global Radio.

New to the station will be TV presenter Andrew Castle, taking over breakfast from Simon Bates, and Daybreak’s Kate Garraway, taking over from Lynn Parsons on Mid-mornings.

Andrew Castle says “I can’t wait to get started on the Breakfast show. I’m a big fan of the new Smooth and love the music on the station.”

Paul Phear is also confirmed as new host of afternoons, after leaving Magic 105.4 last month.

Drivetime has recently changed with the introduction of Anthony Davis, and evenings will see Heart Cambridge Drive presenter Chris Skinner host “The Smooth Sanctuary” replacing Carlos.

Weekend presenters Gary King, Pete Waterman and David Prever have also left the station.

Smooth Radio will have a new strapline too, as Global Radio introduces “Your Relaxing Music Mix” and puts the station on AM across a large part of the South and Midlands.

In other changes, Andrew Castle will also interview a celebrity every Sunday evening, on ‘Andrew Castle Meets’, which will also be broadcast across the network.

Myleene Klass, already on Global Radio’s Classic FM, will join Smooth to present the Saturday morning show each week from 10am till 2pm, and Tina Hobley will continue to present the Sunday mid-morning show.

There are two new weekend shows too. “Great British Song Book” will be hosted by Chris Skinner each Saturday night, and Sunday evenings will belong to the “Great American Songbook”, hosted by Anthony Davis.

Global’s founder & executive president Ashley Tabor said: “Richard Park and his team have assembled an all star cast for Smooth. Andrew Castle, Kate Garraway, Tina Hobley and Myleene Klass joining Smooth tell you just how seriously Global takes the launch of Smooth, and the focus and investment we’re putting behind this brand.

“It’s a further demonstration of our core strategy of ‘national brands delivered locally’, and it’s very important to us. As Smooth becomes one of the country’s biggest commercial radio brands, we’re investing to make it bigger and better for our listeners and advertisers.”

Kate Garraway said: “I love the music on Smooth Radio so I’m thrilled to be part of the new line-up. To be given my own weekday morning show is very exciting – and a bit nerve-wracking – but I can’t wait to get started!”

Myleene Klass said: “I love all types of music and I’m looking forward to playing some of my favourite tracks on Smooth, as well as keeping up my Classic FM show of course!”

Smooth Radio is reversing its national position with regional programmes returning to the network’s five regional transmitters in London, East Midlands, West Midlands, North West and North East.

Three of the six Smooth stations are awaiting approval to be owned by Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp Group, but will continue to take a national feed of programmes from London off-peak.

8 21 7644 24 February, 2014 Alerts, Industry News Monday, February 24th, 2014


  1. James Martin

    I think Bates was only a matter of time. The only surprise is that Neil Fox hasn’t been poached. I’m never a massive fan of hiring television presenters but let’s give them a fair shot. Be in no doubt though now that Parky is going for Magic 2.0 and in doing that I wish him well.

    1. Insider

      Neil’s tied into to a new two-year contract at Magic so he wouldn’t be available until the beginning of 2016 – can’t imagine Parky would be prepared to wait that long!

      1. MP

        If Parky’s in for the long game, Castle could be just holding the spot until he goes in for a big money deal to get Foxy and Verity Geere.

        1. James Martin

          Never thought of it like that. I can’t see him not bagging Foxy further down the line especially if breakfast is going back to local.

          1. MP

            it could be the same for Kate Garraway, a high profile signing who could be on for the rest of the year and then Parky aims to get Gary Vincent or Martin Collins. Preferably Gary Vincent which would cement Smooth’s rebirth as the ‘new’ Magic.

  2. leedsea104

    I wonder, could we give Lucy Mecklenburgh a show on Smooth, maybe have her on Sunday nights or something?
    I heard rumours she was supposed to be doing Sunday mornings 9am-1pm on Radio Aire apparently…

  3. MP

    So they get the music right after years of wishy washy GMG playlisting, but then hire the likes of Castle, Garraway and Klass who are turn-offs in my book. Park hasn’t learned from Tina Hobley’s banal VT morning show that it doesn’t work.

    I was hoping more for a replication of Park’s Magic 105.4, using presenters who complement the now excellent Soft AC format rather than celebrities.

  4. Mickey

    Oh dear, not another corporation playing at radio. Let’s get back to real music, real people instead of this dull, boring same old stuff that is on most other stations. Do something different, break the mold. Remember the 60’s, then the 80’s when radio was radio.

  5. leedsea104

    I can get Smooth well in Seacroft, and even in Barnsley too!
    Also, anyone know if the rumours of Lucy Mecklenburgh joining Radio Aire are true?
    As for Myleene Klass, wasn’t she on BRMB, Leicester Sound and RAM FM at one point on Sundays 7-10pm?

    1. Fed up

      You soon also have the AM version option open to you at the expense of Gold!

      Time Ofcom made to do something!

  6. fried_egg

    “I am a great fan of the new Smooth” – marketing did not have to work too hard on that one. How long has he been a fan of a concept ?

  7. Unsmooth

    The paucity of good management once again rears its repugnant head. Of course, their “logic” (such as it is) can’t be difficult to fathom. Parachuting tv airheads with little or no radio experience means the ordinary and be suited drones have suddenly got famous best mates who will supplicate and bring glamour. Let’s face it – why would you give Mr Jock-in-the-street a gig who lives a humdrum and uneventful life when you’ve got Garraway,Klass etc who will get you in to all the swanky events, lunch you at the Savoy etc? Tabor and his ludicrous cronies have absolutely no handle on reality and what talent really means. What a complete a***.

  8. Glenn Wilson

    Smooth’s best days are well behind it.

    Gettng rid of Bates etc is the cheap option, but the replacements won’t be as entertaining or knolwedgeable

    The net is full of good oldies stations that own more than 200 songs, which is all Global stations seem to own

    No thanks…Bye Smooth!

  9. bigsteve

    smooth has had it, the last decent dj Lynn parsons left. The station has been getting worse for ages Used to listen on dab it was only decent one in north west now its magic on freeview although they all think the world is only London

  10. Upset former Smooth fan

    I am so very very upset, sad and disappointed at Smooth for letting Simon Bates go and have to say that I will not be listening to your station anymore indeed I haven’t since he left. Simon Bates is an absolute legend and probably has one of the best and most recognized voices on radio and tv and his show was the only reason myself and all my work mates, family and friends were also glued listening to Smooth every morning. You will no doubt know now by the drop in the numbers of your listeners that many people have switched off from Smooth since the big change. Bring Simon back please.

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