BBC Radio Wales introduces new breakfast show with Claire Summers

BBC Radio Wales is starting a brand-new breakfast programme Monday to Thursday presented by BBC Wales TV host Claire Summers.

Claire will present four days a week, with current Good Morning Wales host Oliver Hides presenting on Friday and Saturday with an earlier start time of 6am till 8.30am.

Colin Paterson, Editor BBC Radio Wales says: “Claire is a fantastic presenter whose warmth and personality resonates with audiences across the country. A first-class journalist, we’re delighted she’s joined the Radio Wales team.”

The announcement comes after Global announced Capital and Heart’s breakfast shows in Wales will come from London.

Colin continues: “While it’s disappointing that listeners will have less choice in the morning, it sets us a new creative challenge. Our job now is to ensure this is a new programme for the whole of Wales – smart, engaging and rooted in the lives and passions of people in every part of the nation. We’re up for that.”

Claire says: “The opportunity to present Radio Wales’s new breakfast programme is a real privilege and a challenge I just couldn’t refuse. Fortunately, I’m a morning person so that early morning alarm shouldn’t be a problem – I just can’t wait to join the team and bring the latest news, views and conversation to breakfast tables across the nation.”

After the daily news round-up, Jason Mohammad (Monday to Wednesday) and Dot Davies (Thursday and Friday) will take over at the earlier time of 8.30am with Wynne Evans broadcasting over lunch between 11am and 2pm. Eleri Siôn will be the listeners’ companion during the afternoon. Gareth Lewis presents the new-look drivetime news programme at 5pm.

The earlier start for the day’s news and current affairs means Mal Pope’s early-morning programme will come to an end, and there’s no change to the programmes currently on a Sunday morning.

Colin Paterson adds: “Mal has a long association with Radio Wales, most recently as presenter of the early morning programme and I’m grateful to him for his dedication to his show and the listeners. He’ll be back on the airwaves soon including a broadcast of his one-man theatre show later this year.”

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15 Comments
  1. Mark Budgen says

    Working 2.5 hours a day. £50,000 a year? The BBC gravy train.

  2. Adrian says

    The Mal Pope early show was one of the couple of good shows left on Radio Wales.They are actually cutting back by starting at 6am instead of 5,oh well another listener gone then!.

    1. Radio Geordie says

      Well they’ve got to find the money from somewhere as they’ve spent a fortune on a new building which they are moving into at the end of the year.

  3. Pat says

    As a female I feel safe in saying that they had to add a copy of lady presenters to go with the current BBC policy.Having different presenters for both the morning slots on different weekdays is not usually a good move and I expect the audience may continue to decline.

  4. Joe Smith says

    Maybe Mal could start to identify as female then he would be sure to get his job back.

  5. Timothy Ward says

    Will miss Mal with his early breakfast. Shame.

  6. Brad W says

    Why not replace Chris Needs on the weeknights with Mal Pope or Vicki Blight for instance. The elderly will complain as Chris won’t be there to give false sympathy when they call in with their ailments.

  7. Dan Dean says

    Radio Glamorgan as it is affectionally called because it appeals to nobody outside and very few within Glamorgan. Dated, boring, and totally out of touch, speech and music that don’t compliment each other and radio presenters by default as they still believe that television makes good radio……should really be put to sleep.

    1. Richard says

      It looks like a great new vibrant lineup . And about time ..

    2. David West says

      Using tv presenters on radio is a BBC disease. There’s far too much of it on Radio 2 as well. Real radio presenters like Steve Wright and Tony Blackburn understand the medium better than the procession of tv presenters we are treated to for most of the rest of the time.

  8. Peter says

    I remember has a child in Wales visiting both sets of grandparents and Radio Wales was also on.

    Now I take my children to visit their grandparents and one set have Smooth/Absolute on and the other set listen to Smooth/Planet Rock.

    The Times They are a Changing.

  9. Mike Flynn says

    I was a daily key presenter at Radio Wales for the first decade before emigrating to Australia. In the 70’s and 80’s audience figures were in the 20% reach despite only being on medium wave.

    The success of the station back then was primarily down to its ability to tackle the substantial geography of Wales and the remoteness of the capital Cardiff from the rest of the country.

    We did this through a series of live three hour in the street OB’s from a different town every week. Mostly unplanned and live on the hoof interviews mixed with music. Getting radio to the man in the street.

    I was a token North Walian in what was, and still is ,a Glamorgan based radio station.

    However in the early days we had a satellite station in North East Wales called Radio Clwyd. Despite its popularity BBC Wales decided to axe it in the early 90’s and focus everything from the Cardiff HQ.

    North East Wales and the coast is the major centre of population north of the South Wales Valleys. 130 road miles and the best part of three hours by car.

    The constant change of many editors since 1990,all with little or no empathy or knowledge of the whole country and with a south Wales bias, has resulted in a station where the audience is just over 4%.

    In contrast Radio 2 scores its highest figures in Wales at 40%.

    Those numbers speak for themselves.

    Radios 1, 2 & 4 together notch up a massive 85.6 per cent of listening in North Wales

    Radio Wales is no shoestring BBC local.

    It has a budget of £18 million a year.

    1. Adrian says

      Mike,have happy memories of holidays in Wales as a youngster listening to you,Chris Stuart (Who went on to Radio 2 for a short while) and Dan Damon (Now on BBC World Service).It was good entertainment with something for most of the family back then.I don’t like speech breakfast shows where a lot of the time these days you get waffle or phone calls rather than proper news-then it was a good music and talk mix(from 6.30 until 11 at any rate!).Radio’s 2 and 4 took up a lot of the time in the afternoon and evening but even with more hours I really think it was much more in tune with Wales then!.

  10. Mike Flynn says

    Many thanks Adrian for those kind comments. That was all a very long time ago in the days before the internet and multi channel broadcasting.

    I have no axe to grind with Radio Wales having left a long time ago to enjoy my passions of property development, private aviation and travel which looks after me in my old age.

    Time goes so quickly and the days you remember saw me in my late 20’s.

    Now I am in my late sixties so it is nice to hear from anyone who remembers me a long time ago. I divide my time between my houses in Thailand and Norfolk avoiding winter.

    I make no bones about my views on Colin Paterson and his inability to tackle what is a difficult problem for Radio Wales.

    The one thing you do not do when the listeners are leaving you is axe key presenters such as Mal Pope who has been there since my days and has a loyal audience.

    Paterson has a track record of failure with speach radio.

    I quote the Scotsman from November 2006.

    “TALK 107, the Edinburgh all-talk radio station, has axed its programme director and replaced him with the former newspaper editor who currently hosts its mid-morning show. The move comes as the commercial network, which launched in February, fights to expand its audience beyond the current weekly figure of 23,000. Programme director Colin Paterson was told of the decision on Monday and has since left the station. He is replaced by Mike Graham, a former editor of the Scottish Daily Mirror, who hosts his Independent Republic show every weekday from 9am to noon. It is understood he will stay on air. Mr Paterson, 28, had worked with major radio groups. However, station managers are said to have felt his strengths lay in music programming.”

    Mike Graham of course works for Talksport and Talkradio.

    Paterson claimed he raised the listening figures for Red Dragon prior to joining Radio Wales but of course that was a commercial station and it is questionable who increased the figures.

    The major issues that Radio Wales faces is that nearly 86% of Welsh listeners tune in to Radio’s 1,2 and 4.

    He is scoring just over 4% but sitting on a massive annual budget of £18k.

    These latest changes will not work for the simple reason that you cannot inject a great presenter personality who freely ab libs in to someone who is used to a tv autocue.

    It is not secret that I have called for Paterson to be axed in the Welsh media.

    If this was a football team he would have been gone long ago. Sadly he cut the Radio Wales commentary on Wrexham FC and told fans they could listen online which has done him no favours.

  11. Radio Rental says

    I don’t think it helps that Radio Wales at times sounds no different to an English BBC LR station. MOR pap, long winded speech and the likes.

    Compare that to Radio Scotland which seems better resourced.

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