Radio 2 lines up Vanessa Feltz for early breakfast show

BBC London 94.9 presenter is frontrunner to take over from Sarah Kennedy, according to sources

Vanessa Feltz is the frontrunner to take over the BBC Radio 2 early breakfast show vacated by Sarah Kennedy.

Feltz currently presents a morning phone-in on BBC London 94.9 and has been targeted by Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan to take over his station's early morning slot, can reveal.

Kennedy left Radio 2 after 17 years in September, dismissing suggestions that her departure was due to a drink problem.

Feltz's most high-profile BBC show to date was her BBC1 morning chatshow which came to an end in 1999 because of a fake guest scandal.

She has presented a show on BBC London 94.9 since 2003, winning a Sony gold award last year for speech broadcaster of the year.

Her most famous TV appearance was as a contestant on the first series of Celebrity Big Brother in 2001. She returned to the reality show this year as a contestant on its final Channel 4 incarnation, Ultimate Big Brother.

Feltz is the frontrunner for the Radio 2 slot, but her appointment is yet to be confirmed by the station.

A Radio 2 spokeswoman said: "Radio 2 will announce the name of the early morning breakfast show presenter in the near future."

The Radio 2 early morning slot is a key part of the Radio 2 schedule, running from 5am to 6.30am when it hands over to breakfast host Chris Evans.

Shennan said last month that he was keen to have more women presenters on the station.

"It is something I am acutely aware of," Shennan told the Radio Festival. "Am I conscious of the need to ensure the gender balance is addressed? Yes."

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John Plunkett

The GuardianTramp

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