Claudia Winkleman has been announced as the new host of the Saturday morning slot on BBC Radio 2 – taking over from long-running presenter Graham Norton, who will step aside next month.
According to the station, the Strictly co-presenter will welcome some of the world’s most popular stars to Wogan House for a chat against a backdrop of a brilliant mix of music and musings of the day.
Winkleman said she was "speechless" and "gobsmacked" to have been given the chance to spend Saturday morning with the "wonderful" Radio 2 listeners.
"I hope my voice comes back in time for the first show as I can no longer simply rely on a fake tan and a fringe," she said. "There’s nobody I’d rather be with at the weekend, it’s a privilege and an honour."
Head of Radio 2 Helen Thomas welcomed Winkleman to the morning slot, saying, “As Claudia is one of the UK’s best loved entertainers and a firm favourite with our listeners, I’m over the moon that she’ll be bringing her enormous warmth and wit to Saturday mornings on Radio 2."
Winkleman has been with the station since the Spring of 2008, originally hosting the comedy quiz series Hot Gossip before she began presenting the Claudia Winkleman Arts Show in the Friday night slot.
More recently she has presented Claudia on Sunday (7-9pm) and has also been a regular relief presenter for some of the station's other prominent hosts including Ken Bruce (weekdays 9:30am – 12 noon), Steve Wright (weekdays 2-5pm) and Sara Cox (weekdays 5-7pm).
It was revealed earlier this month that Graham Norton would be leaving the BBC Radio 2 Saturday morning slot at Christmas following 10 years as host, with the Irishman later announcing he was set to join Virgin Radio in the new year.
On his departure, Norton said, “Obviously I’m sad to be stepping away from my Radio 2 show. I’ll miss being a part of the Wogan House family, as well as the listeners and their lives.”
He added, “I’d like to thank my producer Malcolm Prince and all the teams I’ve worked with for a great decade of radio. Happily with the chat show, Eurovision and Drag Race the BBC continues to be my perfect TV home."