Ian Skelly is moving to mid-mornings on BBC Radio 3, and will start his new role as a presenter of the Essential Classics show on Christmas Day, with co-host Suzy Klein.
He will take the position vacated by current presenter, Rob Cowan, who is moving to Classic FM.
Ian Skelly is a familiar voice on BBC Radio 3 – listeners will recognise him from his live concert broadcasts, BBC Proms and the occasional appearance on shows including Breakfast and In Tune. He rose to popularity when he covered a BBC Proms event on Radio 3 where, near the end of the broadcast, he was forced to ad-lib from the Albert Hall whilst the lights went off around him. Ian’s appointment to Essential Classics will mark his first role as a regular co-anchor on BBC Radio 3.
Ian said: “It’s incredibly thrilling for me to be working with Suzy who is one of the best broadcasters in the business, and on the best radio station in the world. I’ve always been as passionate about classical music as I am about live radio so this gives me the chance to share that with those listeners with whom I’ve already built up a trusted relationship and those who might try tuning in for the first time. If you want to hear the best music in the world and face the day with a smile, do tune in.”
Meanwhile Rob Cowan is off to pursue other things. In a statement he said of his time on BBC Radio 3; “I’ve had a good run but I’ve decided that after 17 years it’s time I focussed on other things and have a lie-in more regularly in the mornings! My years at BBC Radio 3 have included some of the happiest and most rewarding years of my working life, both in terms of the programmes I have presented and the producers, editors and fellow presenters I have worked with. I will continue to follow the station’s progress with an inquisitive ear and a wealth of fond memories”.
His past roster of programmes has included CD Masters, Rob Cowan, Sunday Morning, Breakfast, Rob’s Gold Standard, The Cowan Collection, Essential Classics and regular contributions to CD (later Record) Review.
Alan Davey Controller of BBC Radio 3 said; “I’m both delighted for Ian and sorry to see Rob go. I’d like personally to thank Rob for his remarkable contribution to BBC Radio 3’s mission to connect audiences with great music and culture. I wish him the very best for the future and am grateful for all he’s done in his time here.
Ian Skelly is a first class presenter with an impressive track record and expertise in live classical radio. He has warmth and wit and I know our listeners will love hearing him more regularly in his new home, Essential Classics.”