Simon Mayo joins new classical radio station after BBC Radio 2 exit

The station is for fans of classical music who “lead a modern life”.

Simon Mayo has landed a presenting role at a new classical music radio station after leaving BBC Radio 2.

Mayo, who left his Drivetime slot at the station in October, will be joined by presenters including Mark Kermode, Angellica Bell and Goldie at Scala Radio, which will be on-air from March 4.

Scala Radio is being launched by Bauer Media, the company behind stations including Magic and Absolute Radio, in what it says is the “biggest launch in UK classical music radio in nearly 30 years”.

Scala Radio
Scala Radio presenters, including Goldie, Simon Mayo and Angellica Bell (Bauer Media/Scala Radio)

It has also been described as a station that will “break the mould of classical music radio in the UK” by Bauer, which says it is for fans of classical music who “lead a modern life”.

Mayo, 60, will host a mid-morning entertainment show, which will include celebrity interviews, listener interaction and a feature called Classical Confessions.

Mayo said: “There are hundreds of radio stations playing rock and pop, and only two classical music stations – until now.

“We’re different because we’re going all out to entertain, laugh with the listeners, and have a good time. Some of it will be familiar, some new and exciting but all timeless, beautiful and all absolutely relevant to today.”

Mayo announced his departure from Radio 2 three months ago after being at the station since 2010.

The DJ had hosted the 5-7pm slot for eight years, but was joined by Jo Whiley for an extended 5-8pm edition in a shake-up to the schedule earlier in 2018.

Scala Radio
Scala Radio launches on March 4 (Bauer Media/Scala Radio)

The move was met with criticism from listeners, and Radio 2 was forced to issue a response following the backlash, before Mayo later announced his departure to pursue “other radio adventures”.

Scala Radio will be presented with an “informal” attitude, and will focus on both familiar masters and new classical pieces.

Former CBBC presenter Bell will present a programme at the weekends, while film critic Kermode – who hosts Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review on BBC Radio 5 Live with Mayo – will helm a show around his love of film scores.

Broadcaster Chris Rogers will host a live Sunday brunch show, and DJ Goldie and record producer William Orbit will each launch their own series.

The station will also feature a range of topical shows, looking at the influence of classical music in gaming, mindfulness and special guest weekly round-ups.

Scala Radio will be available on DAB Digital Radio, online, via smart speakers and mobile apps from March 4.

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