Simon Mayo joins new classical music station after leaving Radio 2

Angellica Bell and Mark Kermode will join the station hoping to win listeners from Radio 3 and Classic FM

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 18:  English radio presenter and author Simon Mayo attends a photocall during the annual Edinburgh International Book Festival at Charlotte Square Gardens on August 18, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  (Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images)

Former BBC Radio 2 DJ Simon Mayo is to lead the launch of new classical music station Scala Radio.


Mayo, who hosted Radio 2’s Drivetime show before leaving in December 2018, will present a 10am to 1pm show six days a week when the station launches on 4th March.

Other signings include Angellica Bell (who will lead weekend programming), Mark Kermode (whose show will specialise in film scores) and BBC London’s Chris Rogers (who will host a Sunday brunch show with guests).

Plus, Goldie and composer William Orbit are set to launch their own series delving into classical music.

According to Bauer, who own the new station, Mayo’s show will be a mix of celebrity interviews, listener interaction and a new re-imagined ‘Classical Confessions’ – a spin on his Radio 2 feature that invited listeners to share their shameful secrets.

“There are hundreds of radio stations playing rock and pop, and only two classical music stations [Radio 3 and Classic FM] up until now,” Mayo said.

“We’re different because we’re going all out to entertain, laugh with the listeners, and have a good time. Some of it will be familiar, some new and exciting but all timeless, beautiful and all absolutely relevant to today”.

Mayo will still continue to co-host his BBC Radio 5 Live’s Friday film show with Mark Kermode.

The DJ presented Radio 2’s Drivetime slot for eight years, co-presenting with Jo Whiley during the show’s last seven months.

Fans have been less than impressed with Radio 2's pairing of Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley (BBC Pictures)
Fans were less than impressed with Radio 2’s pairing of Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley 

Steve Parkinson, Bauer Group Managing Director of National Radio said: “The mix of music, personality and conversation will make [Scala] both intriguing and completely unique. We’ve completely re-imagined a format and designed it to appeal to a modern audience.”

Bauer also say the station will feature topical shows covering “the influence of classical music in gaming, mindfulness and special guest weekly round ups”.

Scala will replace Heat Radio DAB station, with Heat becoming an online-only station with no presenters.


Scala Radio will launch 4th March 2019. You can listen on national DAB Digital Radio, online, via smart speakers and via mobile app

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