Vanessa Feltz to join TalkTV after announcing BBC departure

The presenter, 60, said she would relish ‘the chance to have a personal passionate point of view at last’.
The presenter, 60, said she would relish ‘the chance to have a personal passionate point of view at last’.

Vanessa Feltz has announced she is joining TalkTV after leaving the BBC following nearly 20 years on its radio stations.

The 60-year-old will replace Jeremy Kyle as presenter of the fledgling network’s three-hour drivetime show from September 5.

Kyle, meanwhile, is set to host a new primetime show on TalkTV launching in the autumn.

Feltz said: “The allure of a retirement reclining on a chaise longue while the fragrant Ben (Ofoedu, her partner) peeled me a grape was fleeting.

“While there are politicians to be tackled, fat cats to be flattened, scams to expose and lovely listeners to champion, it’s my mission to breathe fire into the microphone.

“After an elegant sojourn at the BBC, I am effervescent with joy at the invitation to unleash my hitherto hidden side on Talk TV.

“I will relish full-throttled debate and the chance to have a personal passionate point of view at last. Even better, I’ll be at the reins of drivetime. Lord what luxury.

“After years of 3.30am starts, I’ll have a show without an alarm clock involved.

“If I terrified Mayor Sadiq Khan so acutely he never dared set foot in my studio on almost no sleep, tune in to see what I can achieve on a full eight hours shut-eye.”

News UK broadcasting president Scott Taunton said: “Vanessa Feltz is not only a world-class broadcaster, she’s also a national treasure. I’m delighted that she is joining the brilliant talent roster at TalkTV.

“With no alarm clock needed, I’m sure our viewers and listeners will be getting the full force of Feltz.”

In July, Feltz announced she was leaving her shows on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio London, joining a number of established presenters departing the broadcaster.

Paul O’Grady, 67, hosted his final Radio 2 show earlier this month, while Steve Wright, also 67, is due to sign off from his weekday afternoon show on the station in September.

In recently released BBC figures, Feltz was one of just three women in the top 10 highest paid on-air talent, with her salary of £400,000-£404,999 putting her in eighth place.

Zoe Ball and Fiona Bruce were the other two female hosts to make the top-10 list.

Feltz began presenting the Radio 2 Early Breakfast Show in January 2011, from 5am-6.30am, which was extended to 4am from January 2021.

As well as covering daily news, her shows contained features including Famous Last Words, Jolly Good Fellows, The Feltz Philological Challenge and Early Bird Earworms.