Radio 2 has announced a shake-up of its schedule going into autumn, with Steve Wright being appointed as the new host of Pick of the Pops, taking over from Paul Gambaccini.


Wright will host the show on Saturdays from 1pm to 3pm starting on Saturday 21st October, while he will also continue to present Love Songs on Sunday mornings from 9am to 11am.

He also has a number of specials coming up, including Steve Wright’s Summer Nights between Monday 21st and Thursday 24th August and Your Ultimate Kylie Song, available on BBC Sounds from Monday 21st August.

However, this does not mean Gambaccini is out at Radio 2 - far from it, as he moves to a Sunday evening slot to present a brand new show, which will see him rediscover and resurface long-forgotten tracks from across the past eight decades.

He will be playing some of his favourite lesser-known records from the 1950s onwards, and will share his encyclopaedic knowledge of the artists and bands.

In October, the station will also celebrate Paul’s 50th anniversary as a national broadcaster with a special show.

Paul Gambaccini wearing a blue shirt, looking into camera
Paul Gambaccini. BBC/Ray Burmiston

Wright said of the change-up: "Pick of the Pops is such a legendary show. Gambo brilliantly made it his own over the last seven-and-a-half years, and now it’s my chance to give it a go!

"It’s a great privilege to present such an iconic show on Radio 2, and Pick of the Pops fans, don’t worry – it’s going be the same and different at the same time.

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"I’ve got lots of other exciting upcoming Radio 2 shows, too, and am particularly looking forward to Your Ultimate Kylie Song when I’ll be counting down her top songs, as voted for by listeners.

"Like most people around the world, I’m a huge Kylie fan, and can’t wait to hear which song takes that number one spot!"

Meanwhile, Gambaccini said: "This year marks the 25th anniversary of my happy relationship with Radio 2, which began with America’s Greatest Hits. When I accepted the Pick of the Pops assignment in 2016, I was told it would be for between five and ten years.

"Here we are, smack dab in the middle, seven-and-a-half years later, and it is time for Chapter Three.

"I am delighted that on the new show I will have the opportunity to present neglected gems from the past century, be they album tracks, 7" B-sides or missed hits.

"The show will be live, because live is best. It is a happy presenter who gets to share great music of his choice with loyal long-term listeners."

Along with announcing Wright and Gambaccini's new shows, Radio 2 also announced Doctor Who @ 60: A Musical Celebration, an epic concert which will take place at BBC Hoddinott Hall in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 this autumn.

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