Sara Cox is set to take over as the new host of BBC Radio 2’s Drivetime show, following the news that duo Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley would be ending their short-lived partnership.
The move comes as part of one of the station’s biggest shake-ups in several years, with Zoe Ball set to replace the departing Chris Evans in the breakfast slot, and Trevor Nelson moving into Cox’s current 10pm-midnight show.
Whiley is also set to move to a new time slot, presenting a new music show between 7-9pm from Monday to Thursday.
- Simon Mayo to leave Radio 2 after 17 years
- “Jo was the only presenter I could imagine working with” – Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley prepare to co-present after Radio 2 shake up
Taking to social media to announce the move, Cox said it was a “dream job”, and pledged to play fantastic music for her listeners.
“The opportunity to present such a big show as Drivetime – playing fantastic music and hopefully making people smile as they cook tea or head home after a day’s graft – is the icing on what is already a very brilliant cake,” she said.
It has not yet been confirmed when she will take up the role.
Can’t wait to start my dream job ???????? I solemnly promise to play you brilliant music and make you lol-a-lot. https://t.co/7VG9fqBYz2
— sara cox (@sarajcox) October 29, 2018
The decision to add Whiley as co-host to Mayo’s Drivetime show prompted significant backlash from a set of devoted fans, with ire directed predominantly at the female presenter.
Whiley addressed this criticism in an Instagram post on Sunday, saying that the criticism made it “hard to walk out of the front door”.
“The last six months have been quite something, I couldn’t have tried harder or cared more about the show Simon and I did together,” she wrote. “Some of the stuff that’s been said on social media has meant that some days it was hard to walk out my front door, let alone present a radio show.”
“But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger etcetc. Onwards and upwards!”
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My first job at Radio Sussex. I got into radio because I was obsessed with music, bands and gigs and that’s never gone away. It’s impossible to suppress a passion for good music & it’s going to feel good making new musical discoveries and sharing them with everyone on the new show. The last six months have been quite something, I couldn’t have tried harder or cared more about the show Simon & I did together. Some of the stuff that’s been said on social media has meant that some days it was hard to walk out of my front door, let alone present a radio show. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger etcetc. Onwards and Upwards!???
Mayo also addressed the issue last week as he announced his departure from the station he has called home for 17 years.
“Maybe it needs to be said, maybe not but so there is no room for argument I’ll be clear,” he tweeted. “I’ve loved working with the exceptional Jo Whiley and when the show was ‘reconfigured’ she was my first and only choice. Some of the abuse she has had here has been appalling. Support for a new show is one thing, assaulting the dignity of a warm-hearted and loyal friend is another.”
Some of the abuse she has had here has been appalling. Support for a show is one thing, assaulting the dignity of a warm-hearted and loyal friend is another.
— Simon Mayo (@simonmayo) October 22, 2018