BBC Radio 5 live presenter Victoria Derbyshire is to take up a news role within the BBC, it has emerged this afternoon.
Speaking on on the Radio 4 Media Show this afternoon, controller Jonathan Wall defended the station against criticism of becoming ‘radio bloke’ following yesterday’s announcement that Derbyshire and Shelagh Fogarty were leaving while current weekend breakfast show presenter Tony Livesey, 5 live Sport’s Dan Walker and Adrian Chiles would take prominent new roles on the station.
And he said that Derbyshire would soon reappear ‘somewhere else in news to be announced in a few weeks time.’
Yesterday she would only say the new role was a “brilliant opportunity too good to turn down.”
Wall defended the new line-ups as being ‘about a blend of talent, putting the right people in the right places.’
The changes come three years since the station moved from London to MediaCityUK, and both departing Richard Bacon and Derbyshire were two of the presenters who have continued to commute to the North from homes in the South.
Wall said that the fact the departing presenters didn’t live near the MediaCityUk base had nothing to do with the decisions, and insisted that people were required to work in Salford, but not necessarily live there.
The move represents the biggest gamble yet taken by Wall, who took over in February 2013, and has gradually introduced a more news and politics-focused approach.
You can listen again to the radio interview with Steve Hewlett at the website here.