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Zoe Ball to replace Chris Evans as Radio 2 Breakfast host

Zoe Ball

Zoe Ball is to replace Chris Evans as the new host of the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show from the start of next year.

Evans, who announced he was leaving the BBC for Virgin Radio at the start of September, announced the news live on air this morning as part of his “great job Wednesday” segment.

“This is bonkers, I’m not underestimating the task ahead of me,” said Ball, adding that she “definitely didn’t expect to get the call” from Radio 2 bosses.

The 47-year-old was the first woman to host the breakfast show on Radio 1 and now repeats the honour on Radio 2. She becomes the eighth person to host the UK’s most listened-to breakfast show.Ball, who earned between £250,000 and £299,000 for her various presenting jobs at the BBC last year, is likely to get a significant pay rise for her new role.

Warrington-born Evans, 52, was paid £1.6m last year to host the show, which is listened to by a weekly audience of nine million people. He has hosted the Radio 2 Breakfast Show for eight years and spent a total of 13 years at the station.

Ball said: “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, added: “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.“

Ball first joined BBC Radio in October 1997 as co-host the Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Kevin Greening. Sara Cox will continue to cover the Radio 2 Breakfast Show for 10 weeks a year when Cox is away.

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