Zoe Ball kicks off new BBC Radio 2 breakfast show

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Zoe Ball

Zoe Ball has launched her first BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, taking over from Chris Evans in the most listened-to slot on the UK airwaves.

Ball will inherit about nine million listeners from Evans, who starts his rival Virgin Radio show next week.

Ball has previously hosted the Radio 1 breakfast show and weekend breakfasts on Radio 2 – and is now the station’s first female weekday breakfast host.

The guests on Monday’s show will be John Cleese and Nadiya Hussain.

Her breakfast show will run from 06:30-09:30 Monday to Friday, with Tina Daheley reading the news, Mike Williams on sport and Richie Anderson doing travel.

Speaking about her plans, Ball told BBC News: “The thing we really wanna do is bring lots of music, lots of energy, not too much chat – but enough, and we want people to have learned something by the end of the show.”

Jo Whiley, Sara Cox and Trevor Nelson are also launching new Radio 2 shows on Monday

The 48-year-old said features on the new show would include Why Wednesdays, where researchers from QI will answer listeners’ questions, and The Ken O’Clock News, building up to Ken Bruce at 09:30.

Her new show is part of a new Radio 2 line-up that is launching on Monday. Sara Cox will launch her drivetime show, Jo Whiley will begin a new evening solo slot, and Trevor Nelson will bring his Rhythm Nation to late nights.

Rylan Clark-Neal will take over Ball’s old weekend afternoon slot from this Saturday.

Ball earned between £250,000 and £299,000 for her various BBC presenting jobs at the BBC last year, including Strictly: It Takes Two, which she will continue to host.

Ball was announced as Evans’ successor in October

Evans was paid £1.6m last year to host the breakfast show. When she got the job, Ball said she was “not expecting the same” as her predecessor but was “very, very happy with what the BBC are paying me”.

Evans hosted his final Radio 2 breakfast show on Christmas Eve after 13 years with the station. He will have had a four-week break by the time he joins Virgin on 21 January.

His new programme is being billed as the first commercial radio breakfast show without conventional advert breaks. Instead, it will be sponsored by Sky, and Evans will promote the company’s programmes during his slot.

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Zoe Ball kicks off Radio 2 breakfast show

Zoe Ball has launched her first BBC Radio 2 breakfast show, taking over from Chris Evans in the most listened-to slot on the UK airwaves. Ball will inherit about nine million listeners from Evans, who starts his rival Virgin Radio show next week.

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