Jo Whiley to join Simon Mayo for new BBC Radio 2 drivetime show
Jo Whiley and Simon Mayo will join forces for a new BBC Radio 2 programme that will hit the airwaves from May.
The new early evening show was revealed as the broadcaster announced scheduling changes for spring, which will also include the retirement of three of its long-running programmes.
Whiley, who joined Radio 2 in 2011 and presents a weeknight show focusing on new music, will co-host the newly-extended show from 5pm until 8pm on weekdays with existing drivetime host Mayo.
She said: “What a thrill to be working with Simon on this exciting new show.
“It’s going to be great fun and listeners can look forward to some incredible music and chat, as well as being introduced to some fantastic new talent along the way. Cannot wait!”
Mayo, who has hosted the drivetime slot from 5pm until 7pm since 2010, said: “Although we’ve known each other for over 20 years, we’ve never presented a show together.
“And given that Jo is quite brilliant, it’s high-time we put that right.”
Their new programme will begin from Monday May 14.
Radio 2 has said that the current Friday schedule will remain, with the All Request Friday show running from 5pm until 7pm, followed by Tony Blackburn’s The Golden Hour from 7pm until 8pm.
Elsewhere, the station has confirmed the end of programmes The Organist Entertains, the Arts Show and Listen to the Band.
Nigel Ogden, who has hosted 30-minute music show The Organist Entertains since 1980, said: “I’d like to thank my ever loyal audience for their support and messages during the 38 years I’ve hosted The Organist Entertains.
“I’ve loved hearing from them and send them my very best wishes for the future.
“I’d also like to thank Radio 2 for giving me the opportunity to play the music I love each week; it has been a huge privilege.”
Listen to the Band’s host Frank Renton said: “My 23 years presenting Listen to the Band have been hugely enjoyable, especially playing so much of the music that I love.
“It has also been an absolute pleasure being part of the Radio 2 family, and I want to thank all those who have listened or contributed to the programme over the years.”
Other new additions to the Radio 2 line-up include a new live music show hosted by Sara Cox, and a new blues programme fronted by Radio 2 newcomer Cerys Matthews.
Cox’s current show Sounds of the 80s will remain in its Friday night 10pm slot, but will now be hosted by Gary Davies, and Cox will continue her role as an occasional stand-in for Chris Evans on his breakfast show.
Cox’s new programme will air Mondays to Thursdays from 10pm until midnight from May 14.
Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2, said: “These changes herald another stage of the evolution of Radio 2.
“Simon and Jo are two of the network’s most popular presenters, and I’m delighted that they will unite in this exciting partnership to present a new show.
“Sara’s new evening show will provide the network, for the first time in many years, with a truly interactive show to end the day.”