Zoe Ball to replace Chris Evans on BBC Radio 2 Breakfast

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Zoe Ball will take over as the new permanent presenter on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show from 2019, Chris Evans has announced on-air.

Chris announced a month ago that he was leaving the show and then revealed he was joining Virgin Radio UK from the New Year. A newspaper report two weeks ago suggested that Zoe had been offered the Radio 2 gig – to present Europe’s biggest radio show.

Zoe started on Radio 1 breakfast on the same day that Chris did the original Virgin Radio breakfast show back in 1998.

Zoe says: “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. 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 but 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.”

Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2 says: “I’m delighted that Zoe is the new host of the Radio 2 Breakfast Show as 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.“

Zoe has been at Radio 2 since 2006, including as a swing presenter covering for Chris Evans, Ken Bruce and Dermot O’Leary. She did the Saturday early morning show 2009-2012 and has presented Saturday afternoons since March 2017.

Bob Shennan, Director, BBC Radio and Music (and former Radio 2 controller) says: “The Radio 2 Breakfast Show is arguably the most coveted job in UK radio with a long and illustrious history, and I’m thrilled that the baton is now passing to Zoe, who I know will make the show her very own.”

Radio 2 says Sara Cox will continue to be the main deputy for the breakfast show, presenting it 10 weeks each year when Zoe is off. A new presenter will also be announced soon for Zoe’s Saturday afternoon show.

Listen to the announcement from Wednesday morning’s show



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25 Comments
  1. AlexaPlayDespacito says

    Great news. I’m really happy with Radio 2’s more diverse lineup. Jo on Drive, now Zoe on Breakfast. More of this.

    1. Mr Boltar says

      So basically you don’t care if she’s any good, just the fact she has ovaries?

      1. AlexaPlayDespacito says

        You’ve had your daytime schedule of entirely white middle aged straight men for over ten years now.

        Women who have worked their way up the industry against years of sexism and male privilege are being considered for top-tier roles – finally. I’m sorry that this upsets you.

        1. Joe Smith says

          I’d rather they just gave jobs to the best people irrespective of their gender.

          Sorry if that upsets you.

          1. AlexaPlayDespacito says

            Such an original retort may have sounded very eloquent in your head, but it’s a cop out and fails to address the distinct lack of diversity in media.

            The best people for the job, for decades now, apparently have been straight middle aged white men.

            The fact Zoe Ball is the first ever full-time female breakfast presenter on BBC Radio 2 implies that no other woman has been good enough in the past.

            The days of male radio presenters with female travel reporters and newsreaders is coming to an end, and it’s people like you that need to adapt, not the BBC.

        2. Mr Boltar says

          @AlexaPlayDespacito You forgot middle class in your hackneyed misandrous diatribe love. And I bet you wouldn’t have the guts to use “black” in the same sentence even though there are few white DJs on say 1Xtra. You activists are like little lapdogs mauling a toy bone, you know it won’t bite you back.

          “Women who have worked their way up the industry against years of sexism and male privilege …”

          Awww, poor ickle women, always victims, boo hoo hoo, where’s my violin? I wonder how all those female DJs in the 70s and 80s got their jobs. Perhaps through talent rather than ticking ideological diversity check boxes.

          1. AlexaPlayDespacito says

            Clearly you didn’t get very far in the radio industry so you choose to belittle and trivialise the atrocious attitudes towards women and minorities in the media industry.

            Did they take your job? I hope they did.

          2. Joe Smith says

            But to be fair we can all have a laugh at her nonsense.

            Just a shame that she does so much damage to the cause she mistakenly believe she promotes.

            Ironically it’s people like her who are holding talented women back.

        3. Mr Boltar says

          @AlexaDesperate I’ve never worked in the radio industry – it doesn’t pay well enough – though I have done pirate and hospital radio as hobbies. Plenty of women in the latter. And I suspect you’re the one who didn’t have the talent to get into the industry so you want the diversity ticket short cut like all no talent types in whatever industry. Instead of admitting you’re not good enough you blame some sort of discrimination. Sad.

          1. AlexaPlayDespacito says

            Yeah I’m sure that’s the reason hun.

  2. Richard E says

    Jo Wiley has ruined the Simon Mayo, show, can’t stand her, she should be given the boot, straight away! She is right up her own backside! Not sure about Zoe, though!

  3. mark budgen says

    Oh so suggesting nepotism is a no no for Radio Today? If her dad wasn’t famous, she wouldn’t be. Fact. She’s a bland broadcaster who’s been very lucky to have been born into the right family.

    1. sj says

      Really? Is her dad THAT famous? I had to look him up to remind myself who he is. I’m in my mid-30s and remember her from the Radio 1 breakfast show, so this is probably a smart move for Radio 2. She might not be your cup of tea but I struggle to accept she’s where she is today because of her family.

  4. Chris Moore says

    She isn’t my cup of tea but it’s not going to ruin my life. I just won’t listen very often. My choice would have been Sara Cox who in my opinion is a more natural, entertaining presenter. However, to suggest she only got a chance in broadcasting because her father was slightly famous in the 80s is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard for a long time, and I read the comments on here often.

    1. ScotinWales says

      I am in total agreement re Sara Cox, a very natural presenter with middle of the road radio 2 music. I found Chris Evans to use this platform for pure self indulgence. I wonder if this will help the BBC balance out male/female highest earners….I doubt it

  5. Mr Boltar says

    Radio 2 continues its circling of the toilet bowl into becoming 1990s Radio 1.

  6. Allan Wallace says

    Radio 2, once the home of truly great broadcasters, continues on its downward trajectory into oblivion.

    1. sj says

      Ha! Radio 2’s downward trajectory?! How are you measuring that? Rajar seems to disagree with your assessment.

  7. Joe Smith says

    So no change then. No reason to listen to the show currently and no reason to listen in the future.

  8. Lee says

    Sara Cox will be next inline if the Radio 1 thing carries on 🙂 When will Scott Mills take over from Steve Wright

  9. Adrian says

    The problem I have with Radio 2 is the music these days-Zoe Ball won’t make any difference in that respect.I miss the easy listening sounds.I don’t have anything against music released recently and all decades have some good stuff but I have no wish to hear disco stompers or electronic anthems that were big hits in decades gone by nor all the chart stuff they play these days which in my opinion should be on Radio 1.There is a whole lot of tuneful music old and new which never gets played anymore,it’s like commercial radio without the adverts.Before anyone says listen to things like Smooth or Mellow Magic well maybe I would if they would have a playlist of more than a few hundred tunes repeated every day of the year and those wretched repetitive irritating announcements about relaxing music mixes between each song.As it is I have to use Internet radio for a variety of stations and genres.

    1. Radio Geordie says

      Without the adverts?
      Have you listened to BBC Radio or watched any of their TV channels recently?
      There are more adverts on the BBC than any of the commercial broadcasters, TV or radio.

      1. Adrian says

        Ok,point taken Radio Geordie,anyway I despair for British Radio ( particularly music radio ) as a whole be it BBC or commercial.

  10. Paul Wells says

    Jobs on merit every time without fail. “White privilege” is a nasty and pernicious term and is going to lead precisely where? That anyone born with white skin is overlooked because they don’t fill a quota or please a trend? Worse still they are male and what dreadful fate should await them? Perhaps certain industries have been male bastions because women didn’t find them especially appealing, as opposed to the notion of all men being intolerable bigoted tossers who have oppressed anyone but their own. The anti white male agenda is as destructive as the marginalisation of anyone based on skin colour, heritage and/or religion. Enough of the witch hunt now.

  11. ciaran flavin says

    Interesting to know the wages of the BBC stars. You cant blame them for what they get. Interesting to know they get 10 weeks holiday a year plus bank holidays which is far more than the legal minimum and we are paying for that. Also very unfair that
    most if not all BBC local radio staff are freelance and even if they broadcast 5 days a week are not entitled to any holiday or sick pay. Most unfair. They should at least have short term contracts entitling them to proper holidays and sick payments.

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