Steve Wright is the new presenter of BBC Radio 2's Pick of the Pops
Steve Wright is made the new presenter of BBC Radio 2’s Pick of the Pops, taking over from Paul Gambaccini who moves to present a new live show on Sunday evenings
- Wright, 68, had his afternoon show controversially axed by bosses last year
- Many older presenters have left the BBC including Ken Bruce and Vanessa Feltz
BBC Radio 2 bosses have made an apparent move to reassure disgruntled older listeners by giving Steve Wright a new role on the station.
Wright, 68, controversially had his afternoon show axed by bosses last year as part of a string of older presenter leaving or being sidelined on the station.
But Radio 2 revealed yesterday that Wright will take over from Paul Gambaccini as the host of its long-running show Pick of the Pops.
Gambaccini, 74, will now move to a Sunday evening slot where he will present a new live show.
After Wright lost his long running afternoon show, Ken Bruce, 72, made the shock announcement at the start of the year that he was quitting Radio 2 after 31 years on its mid-morning show, to join Greatest Hits Radio.
Steve Wright has been made the new presenter of BBC Radio 2’s Pick of the Pops
Paul Gambaccini, 74, will now move to a Sunday evening slot where he will present a new live show
Other older presenters to have left the station in recent times include Vanessa Feltz, 61, and Paul O’Grady, who died earlier this year aged 67.
Long-serving listeners have accused Radio 2 bosses of desperately trying to appeal to a younger audience. Last week’s radio audience figures showed the station had lost a million listeners since Ken Bruce’s departure.
Pick of the Pops airs on Saturday afternoons from 1pm to 3pm and features charts music from the past. Gambaccini has been hosting the programme since 2016.
New host Wright described the show as ‘legendary’, adding: ‘Gambo [Gambaccini] 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.
‘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.’
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 10 years.
Other older presenters to have left the station in recent times include Vanessa Feltz, 61
After Wright lost his long running afternoon show, Ken Bruce, 72, made the shock announcement at the start of the year that he was quitting Radio 2 after 31 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.
‘I’m also grateful that this autumn Radio 2 will observe my 50 continuous years as a national broadcaster, which began on Radio 1 in October 1973.’
Gambaccini’s new show will see him rediscover long-forgotten tracks from the past eight decades.
Wright will front Pick Of The Pops from Saturday October 21 and will continue to present Love Songs every Sunday morning from 9am to 11am.
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