Alex Lester says goodbye to BBC WM Breakfast

Alex Lester has said an emotional goodbye to his listeners on the breakfast show at BBC WM 95.6 this morning.

During the last few minutes of his show, Alex said that it’s time to step off the merry-go-round after 42 years in the industry, and thanked listeners and everyone involved in the programme.

He said: “What I’m doing, after more than 10,000 radio shows – which I worked out with The Dark Lady was about two and a half years on the radio – I thought it’s time for me to step off the merry-go-round a bit, so I’m leaving the breakfast show.”

Samantha Meah and Daz Hale are taking over from January 14th, with Richard Wilford hosting the show next week.

Alex has been presenting Breakfast for almost two years, having started in March 2017 shortly after leaving BBC Radio 2’s overnight show.

Samantha Meah, who hosts a weekly show on WM already, says: “I am so excited to be waking up the WM listeners, I have to warn you, my laugh is infectious, I love to gossip but my music taste is impeccable! I’m looking forward to having the best banter with Daz – this is a dream gig for me.”

Current WM presenter Daz added: “I am thrilled to move over to the weekday breakfast show, this really is an honour for me. You can expect all my usual antics and fun, along with some serious news from across the West Midlands and of course lots of local chat with some music thrown in. I can’t wait to get stuck in with Sam.”

On leaving breakfast, Alex’s wife paid tribute to him on social media this morning, confirming Alex will be staying on his Saturday night regional show:

“After more than 40 years of public service broadcasting for the BBC – most of it delivered during the most ungodly hours of the night when those who were listening to the radio really needed to hear a warm and friendly voice who made them laugh – my magnificent husband, Alex Lester, is hanging up his full-time headphones and getting to sleep through the night on a regular basis at last.

“He’ll still be rocking the mic like a vandal on Saturday nights for BBCWM and is bound to be popping up here and there on a radio station near you from time to time but ‘the broadcaster’s broadcaster’, as he is commonly known within the industry, is going to have a well-deserved rest and see a bit more of his beloved Hastings, friends, family, and wife.

“My darling, I could not be more proud of you if my life depended on it. You are a BBC legend and the radio waves will be all the poorer without your beautiful voice and wonderful banter.”

Sarah Harness, Editor of BBC WM comments “I’m thrilled with the new show. Sam and Daz are going to be an absolute treat for listeners – they’re a dream combination together. Sam’s delighted to get back to her roots and alongside Daz it’s going to be a laugh a minute. With the best music and all the news coverage you need, it’s going to be the only way for the West Midlands to wake up!”

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39 Comments
  1. Andrew morris says

    Strange the editor didnt seem to pay tribute to Alex

    1. Peter C says

      Radio 2 need him back during the early hours…. He was great!!!

  2. Tony says

    Sounds like everyone is thrilled. I was trying to remember if I’ve ever used that word in normal conversation….I think not.
    Good luck Alex!!

  3. neal says

    A brilliant professional broadcaster who along with Janice Long were treated like dirt by Radio 2. That station could certainly apologise to Alex now by giving him the weekday 2 to 5pm slot in place of Steve Wright! and likewise give Janice Jo “I destroyed Radio 2 drive time” Whiley’s new evening slot!

    1. Joe Smith says

      Alex in place of Wright would be excellent.

      A plant pot in place of Wright would be an improvement.

      1. Allan Wallace says

        Do you not think you are being a bit harsh on old Wrighty?

        1. Joe Smith says

          I thought I was being harsh on the pot plant!

    2. Pauline Lyon-Shaw says

      Totally agree, used to love their shows on radio 2, been rubbish since they left

  4. Stephen Hall says

    In this day and age of voice tracking, it’s perfect possible to be semi-retired AND do a daily show somewhere. From a selfish point of view, I hope that’s what he decides to do some day. If not, he’s more than earned a breather. Thanks for everything, Alex.

  5. Steve says

    Thank you for 2 great years of morning entertainment Alex. Enjoy the rest.

  6. Jenny says

    Sarah Harness, Editor of BBC WM comments “I’m thrilled with the new show. Sam and Daz are going to be an absolute treat for listeners – they’re a dream combination together. Sam’s delighted to get back to her roots and alongside Daz it’s going to be a laugh a minute. With the best music and all the news coverage you need, it’s going to be the only way for the West Midlands to wake up!”

    WHAAAT WHO IS THIS CREATURE??? What happened to thanks Alex – great guy etc etc.

  7. M F Bown says

    Overnight radio isn’t the same without Alex and Janice.The Dark Lord would have been great replacing Mr Evans

    1. Joe Smith says

      And if not him my pot plant would be a considerable improvement!

    2. Howlingmadmum says

      BBC were always going to pick a woman, have to be seen to be ‘politically correct’ what ever happened to choosing because of their talent? Alex Lester all day long

  8. Dan Dean says

    I don’t think you need to be Einstein to read between the lines here….Sara whatever her name is makes no mention of a broadcasting legend that is being replaced by a pair of nobody’s…..one with an infectious laugh and great music taste, and the other…well..yes….but the Editor says it will be a “laugh a minute, with the best music…whatever that means, and all the news YOU NEED…..
    .AGAIN…I say it….is it not time these dinosaur BBC Local station’s were just put to sleep, totally irrelevant in this day and age of social media etc. Even their own staff think the output is dreadful, as they ramble on about our county bla bla and that radio car out and about!!!!….yes…Partridge is not just a figment of Coogan’s imagination. !!!!

    1. Delakota555 says

      The plural of ‘nobody’ is ‘nobodies’. Apostrophes are used to show possession, abbreviation and contraction and sometimes for the purpose of the clarification of an acronym.

      I hope this helps…😉

  9. Alan says

    I’m only gonna to say is time bring him back for Radio 2.

  10. Mike says

    Won’t happen. The BBC never admit they get anything wrong.

    1. Jonathan Baddiel says

      The BBC ALWAYS knows what is best for the listener – irrespective of any evidence to the contrary.

      Huge public outcry re Lester, Mayo etc, but still The Beeb blunders on 😣

  11. geoffrey biffen says

    the end of 40 years of brilliance .i`m hoping i`ll wake up and this will all be a bad dream . thankyou dark lord for 40 years of top broadcasting and i wish you all the best for the future .we will all be listening for any future appearances and indeed saturday nights .enjoy a well earned rest

  12. Graham says

    I’ve already mourned the loss of the Dark Lord as I couldn’t get Bbcwm. Wishing Alex all the best for his well earned retirement. I hope the editor’s comments were poorly quoted and she did appreciate Alex.

  13. Mike says

    To endorse Dan Dean’s comments, I cannot recall ever meeting anyone in my county who ever listens to BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

    1. Adrian says

      I do listen to BBC Gloucester but I don’t live in the county but only for an hour a week and that it to their excellent folk and acoustic show.Unfortunately that has recently been moved to 12midnight to 1am on a Monday morning which I think is an insult to fans of this type of music when there is so much rubbish on at other times.

    2. Joe Smith says

      Yes but to be fair you do live in Yorkshire don’t you!

  14. Stuart Baillie says

    Always liked Alex Lester’s style. Too few like him on radio these days.

  15. Stephen says

    Hi a really nice guy .i listened to alex on radio 2 for years can’t stomach it now early hours are rubbish. Don’t Like oj Borg sorry..being in wales can’t here the dark lord.i miss the half time hooter.and ramp up the camp . Very down to earth.good luck dark lord …

  16. Pamela says

    Time to bring Alex Lester back to radio 2 will make a lot of people happy, early mornings not the same since Radio 2 did the dirty!

  17. Pamela says

    Good luck my friend in everything you do. Radio 2 was never the same after they did the dirty on you. Christmas badger, antler watch, carrots the donkey, slap my top, Alan and not forgetting Boloxnia with silent x, could only be Alex Lester.

  18. Sue b says

    Bring back Alex to daytime radio 2 .lost without the dark lord AND decent music all we late nighters have now is more of the same daytime drivel to listen to.

    1. Ann B says

      I disagree. He belongs to us. He has been a great comfort to me at a difficult time with his lovely voice and sense of humour. All good wishes to Alex and his patient wife. Time to relax, sleep and enjoy life. Let’s raise a glass to The Dark Lord and his Dark Lady.

  19. Ann says

    Will miss that lovely voice and sense of humour which helped me at a difficult time.Your turn to relax, sleep and spend time with your patient wife. Let’s raise our glass to The Dark Lord and his Lady.

  20. Graham says

    I spent many a night listening to Alex. I always felt that he was joking with just me and forgetting the thousands of other listeners. Sleep well Alex now you have the chance and enjoy the time with Wife and family.

  21. Delakota555 says

    The output of the BBC, both radio and TV has grown increasingly worse over the years. I think you can trace the decline to the 1990s with the collapse of the ITV franchises, New Labour’s reform to the requirements of the BBC’s inhouse/outside production quota (currently it is 50% inhouse, 25% independent production and 25% competitive tender although rumoured it could be 100% competitive tender in the near future so it will only become even more unwatchable/unlistenable!) and the unrelenting obsession with celebrity culture.

    I think the one thing that is evident with presenters like Alex, no let’s call him a DJ as he rightfully deserves, is his love of music, a trait which is sorely absent from most current presenters on radio.

    I listen to a internet radio station called Radio Paradise and very rarely listen too BBC’s output. Check out the www radioparadise.com for the streamlinks and the webplayer or access it with TuneIn or better still they gave their own app available on Android and iOS. Check it out!

    Personally, I think the BBC existing in its current form with a mandatory license fee is on borrowed time.

    Thank you Alex for all your hard work and enjoy your semi-retirement!

  22. Paul says

    Thanks Alex, for making my night shift a lot more tolerable over the years when you were with radio 2.

  23. Colin Holton says

    Alex Lester Ray Moore Les Ross Terry Wogan are all broadcasting Legends

  24. Ron Fellows says

    Not being a WM listener, I haven’t heard Alex for many a year but I used to relish his guided tours of Boloxnia on Radio 2. Another…………surreal……..world created and nurtured by a really professional broadcaster. The powers that be should have fitted-in Alex to replace the great Wogan when he left.

  25. Paul James says

    As a broadcaster myself, it’s really important to have people in the industry who really lead the way with broadcasting excellence in ways that those of us further down the ladder can aspire to and really respect. Radio broadcasting is about really connecting with the listener in innovative ways. Unfortunately many “top” radio presenters today don’t do that well, the term “radio personality” is fading in a lot of cases, Alex Lester is one of the few that still manage to excel in this respect, Simon Bates is another who springs to mind, but few others these days manage this. Why are the BBC so short sighted? Good luck with whatever you do in the future Alex.

  26. Linda J B says

    Following the departure of Adrian who delivered an excellent early morning on WM, I then became a Alex fan and an avid listener of his Saturday night music programme. Well hes now is departing. My mornings M6 drive will not be the same. Wishing you well Alex and await your Saturday night programmes. I for one will not be listening to the replacement pair. Bad move WM.

  27. Dan Smith says

    Well another inexplicable blunder by WM, and that creature they call a “comments editor” couldn’t even be bothered to pay him a compliment for the two years Alex did the show! Great voice, personality, very funny alongside the other show staff, and I thoroughly enjoyed it all! Bad move, BBC, and think this has further firmed up my decision to quit the licence fee altogether!

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