Zoe Ball kicks off debut Radio 2 Breakfast Show with Aretha Franklin's Respect

The broadcaster said she was excited about announcing her first programme in the early slot after all the ‘build-up and chat'.

Zoe Ball kicked off her first Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 by playing Respect by Aretha Franklin.

Ball, the first woman to host a show in the breakfast slot on the station, told listeners that her first song choice “had to be a dame, on this occasion”.

She added: “They come no greater than the Queen of Soul, and Respect.”

Ball introduced the show: “Hello. My name is Zoe. How’s your belly off for spots? Good morning Radio 2 superstar listeners, here we go.

“And, relax. After all the build-up, and the chat and the preamble, the big day is finally here. We are so super-excited. I’m ready, the prod squad team are ready.”

She added: “Welcome to the first ever Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, I’ve been so excited about saying that.”

Referring to messages of support from fans before the show, Ball said: “It’s been really wonderful for all of us, it’s been really positive.”

Radio 2 Breakfast Show
Zoe Ball arrives at Wogan House in London for her first morning hosting the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show (Yui Mok/PA)

She told listeners that her guests on the show will include John Cleese and Nadiya Hussain.

Ball, 48, arrived at the BBC’s Wogan House before her official debut, carrying a bag that read “Hold it together”.

She looked in good spirits as she flashed a smile and waved at onlookers before entering the building.

Ball has replaced Chris Evans in the breakfast slot, after hosting his show since 2010, when he took over from Sir Terry Wogan.

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