Gardeners' Question Time to get its first female host

Kathy Clugston will join the long-running Radio 4 programme in May.

Gardeners’ Question Time will get its first female host when Eric Robson retires and is replaced by Kathy Clugston.

Clugston, a Northern Irish presenter perhaps best known for her voice work on the Shipping Forecast, is a keen amateur gardener and will be joining the long-running BBC Radio 4 programme in May, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Robson, 72, is stepping aside after 25 years and said Clugston will “fit right into the GQT family”.

Gardeners’ Question Time
Gardeners’ Question Time will get its first female host when Eric Robson, left, retires and is replaced by Kathy Clugston (BBC/PA)

Clugston, who has anosmia, meaning she has no sense of smell, said: “I have had a few pinch-me moments since I started at Radio 4 – my first shipping forecast, reading the news on the Today programme – but this beats them all.

“I’m most looking forward to visiting the gardens, and meeting Radio 4 listeners, in parts of the country that I might otherwise never have gone to.

“One of my jobs as host will be to make new listeners feel welcome. I’m a novice and won’t be shy about asking the panellists to spell things out if they get too technical.”

Gardeners’ Question Time first broadcast in 1947. Robson has been the chairman of the panel since 1994.

Peter Gibbs, the show’s co-chair, will remain in his role.

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