Presenter Kathy Clugston is to take over the chair of Radio 4 horticultural show Gardeners’ Question Time, replacing Eric Robson from this April.
Robson, 72, will be retiring from GQT after 25 years as host. Co-chair Peter Gibbs, however, will continue in his current role and front a third of the episodes.
Listeners will recognise the Belfast-born Clugston as a newsreader and continuity announcer on BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra, both positions she will maintain in addition to chairing GQT.
Robson’s departure will be marked by a special programme broadcast on 26th April, and Clugston’s first episode will hit the air on 3rd May.
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Listeners were quick to congratulate Clugston on her new appointment:
That’s an inspired choice. Congratulations to @kathyclugston.
— Clare McGinn (@claremcg28) March 20, 2019
— Lynda Marlow (@LHMarlow) March 20, 2019
— Ann-Marie Foster (@AnnMarieCFoster) March 20, 2019
Congratulations, looking forward to this so much and maybe more #GQT trips to NI.
— amadden428 (@amadden428) March 20, 2019
“I have had a few pinch-me moments since I started at Radio 4,” said Clugston – “my first Shipping Forecast, reading the news on the Today programme – but this beats them all. One of my jobs as host will be to make new listeners feel welcome. I’m a novice and won’t be shy about asking the panellists to spell things out if they get too technical.”
Robson, who often faces a long commute from his farm in Cumbria to the show’s varied recording locations, said: “Having travelled the length and breadth of the UK with Gardeners Question Time for 25 years, it feels an appropriate time to be moving on. I’ve loved every minute of it, but I’m also delighted to be handing the trowel on to Kathy; someone I know will fit right in to the GQT family.”
Gardeners’ Question Time is on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds on Fridays at 3pm. The show is repeated on Radio 4, Sundays at 2pm