BBC Radio 2 have confirmed that Paul Gambaccini will be the new permanent presenter of Pick of the Pops, replacing former BBC DJ Tony Blackburn.
Gambaccini will take over the Radio 2 Saturday afternoon slot from Saturday 9 July. Mark Goodier had been presenting the show on a temporary basis, after BBC Director General Tony Hall said that the evidence Blackburn submitted to the Dame Janet Smith inquiry into sexual abuse at the BBC “fell short” of what was required.
Gambaccini said he was honoured to present “one of Britain’s iconic radio programmes”, adding, “I will strive to meet the standards of my illustrious predecessors, including Alan Freeman and Tony Blackburn.”
Blackburn also wished the new presenter well on Twitter, even though he was “sad to have lost a show”.
Well you now know Paul Gambaccini is to replace me on Pick Of The Pops.Obviously I'm sad to have lost a show I loved but I wish Paul well.
— Tony Blackburn (@tonyblackburn) May 24, 2016
Radio 2 also confirmed that former Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton would be making her Radio 2 debut in a new show alongside Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp.
Regular Saturday morning host Graham Norton is set to take his summer break, with Fearne and Martin filling in on Radio 2 from 9th July to 10th September.
Fearne Cotton last presented on Radio 1 in May 2015, but says she always planned to return to the radio. “I can’t wait to get back on the radio, so to be presenting on Radio 2 this summer on Saturday mornings with Martin Kemp is going to be absolutely brilliant,” she said.
DJ Trevor Nelson will move to a new two hour Saturday evening slot from 8-10pm, expanding on his previous Wednesday night show.
Former ITV This Morning presenter Fern Britton will fill in for Clare Balding while she presents the Olympic Games in Rio.