Claudia Winkleman to step down from hosting BBC Radio 2 show next year

Claudia Winkleman (Ian West/PA)
Claudia Winkleman (Ian West/PA)

Claudia Winkleman has announced she is stepping down from hosting her Saturday morning BBC Radio 2 show next year.

After three years of presenting from 10am to 1pm, the broadcaster announced on the show on December 2 that she will present her last edition in March.

Comedian and actor Romesh Ranganathan, who currently hosts a show on the station from midnight to 1am on Saturdays, will take over Winkleman’s timeslot in April.

Winkleman said: “I absolutely love Radio 2 and it’s been a privilege to host the Saturday morning show for three years.

“I will miss our amazing guests, our brilliant listeners and the one and only Sally Traffic.

“The truth is my children are growing up inordinately fast so I have decided to follow them around at home before they leave for good.

“I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who works on the show, I will continue to visit with badly made biscuits and will pester the bosses to present the odd special.”

She added that she “couldn’t be happier” that Ranganathan who be taking over from her on Saturday mornings.

“He is brilliantly laugh out loud funny, and I’ll listen every single week as my kids beg me to leave them alone”, she added.

Ranganathan said: “In my many years working as a maths teacher thinking ‘what would happen if I gave this up’, I never imagined I’d be sandwiched between Dermot O’Leary and Steve Wright on the UK’s most popular radio station every Saturday morning.

Romesh Ranganathan
Romesh Ranganathan (Suzan Moore/PA)

“I’m grateful to Claud for wanting to spend more time with her kids, and enabling me to spend less time with mine, and I look forward to finding out what the nation is up to at that time, as well as speaking to some familiar faces. It’s going to be fun. Probably.”

Head of Radio 2 Helen Thomas said: “I’d like to thank Claudia for entertaining her millions of listeners each Saturday morning with such sparkling wit and great warmth.

“Radio 2 listeners can rest easy as we’re working on a plan for some specials in the future, so watch this space.

“I’m delighted to welcome Romesh to his new Saturday morning show on Radio 2.

“Judging by the audience’s reaction to him at Radio 2 in the Park in Leicester this year, he’s already a firm favourite with our listeners.

“Like Claud before him, he’ll guarantee your Saturday mornings continue to be an appointment to listen.”