Scott Mills joined by Zoe Ball and Richie Anderson for first BBC Radio 2 show

The radio DJ’s new afternoon show featured new segments Speed Mates and Birthday Game.
The radio DJ’s new afternoon show featured new segments Speed Mates and Birthday Game.

Scott Mills was joined by special guests Zoe Ball and Richie Anderson for a new gameshow segment to close his first BBC Radio 2 afternoon show.

The hosts of the station’s breakfast slot were brought on to play the first edition of Speed Mates which saw the presenters asked personal questions about each other.

After questions which spanned across their appearances on Strictly Come Dancing, Mastermind and their time on the radio, they reached one final tie-break question.

Anderson proved more accurate in guessing how many miles it was from the radio studio to the Sandwell Aquatics Centre where he climbed the 10-metre diving board at the Commonwealth Games and so won the prize of choosing the theme for their 7.33am segment on the breakfast show on Tuesday for the first time.

Mills finished his first Radio 2 show by introducing Sara Cox’s 4pm show, which is being extended by an hour, and Jo Whiley’s special Halloween edition of her Shiny Happy Playlist, before saying: “This is Scott Mills, first show – done.”

During the programme, he also played a new segment, titled Birthday Game, which saw a listener who had a birthday on October 31 choose between three songs which had previously been number one on that day.

After skipping McFly’s Star Girl and Keep On Movin by boy band Five, he selected The Power Of Love by Jennifer Rush and was gifted a balloon with Mills’ face on it.

A singer called Toni from Liverpool also surprised Mills during his first show with her remix of Backstreet Boys’ Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) with the lyrics altered to welcome him to Radio 2 including the classic chorus line changed to “Scott is back, alright”.

After playing the song, Mills praised the singer, saying: “That’s amazing, thank you so much.”

Many viewers wrote in to say they had made the switch over to Radio 2 with Mills, with one noting there had been three prime ministers since he was last on the airwaves in August.

Mills left BBC Radio 1 in August after 24 years at the network as part of the station’s schedule shake-up.

The 49-year-old DJ has now taken over the Radio 2 afternoon slot from veteran host Steve Wright, who said farewell to the programme in September after 23 years.

Opening his new show, Mills said: “I’m so excited. This is Scott Mills and this is my brand new weekday afternoon show.”

For his first song, Mills opted for Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, and said: “I thought we’d start with one of the best pop songs of the last 15 years…

“So this is the new sound of afternoons on Radio 2. It’s me two to four.

“I know some of you are brand new to me, I know a lot of you will have heard me before on the other side and this will be your first time maybe changing the dial or clicking the Radio 2 button on BBC Sounds.

“I know many of you have been here for years, and I just feel so lucky to be here because this station is huge and it’s the soundtrack to so many of your lives and it’s not something I take lightly, so it’s not lost on me.

“I’m thrilled to be here.”

The BBC Radio schedule shake-up was announced in July and revealed that Mills would leave Radio 1 with his co-host, Chris Stark.

Mills had hosted various shows on the station since 1998, including The Official Chart Show on a Friday since 2018.

Meanwhile, Stark joined Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp earlier this month, as well as taking up a new role in Global’s podcast division, developing sport content for Global Player.

Stark also co-hosts sports show That Peter Crouch Podcast alongside the former footballer, and The Pirate Ship with celebrity chef Tom Kerridge.

Ahead of his last Radio 2 afternoon slot, Wright stressed he was not retiring. He will continue to present Sunday Love Songs on the station, and his Serious Jockin’ podcast will launch on BBC Sounds on November 4.