Vanessa Feltz will become the most high-profile woman to front a solo BBC local radio breakfast show when she moves to the flagship slot on BBC Radio London in the new year.
The Radio 2 DJ and former BBC1 talkshow host currently presents the mid-morning show on the station and said she was “bubbling over with excitement at the opportunity”.
BBC director general Tony Hall made it one of his priorities to increase the number of women on BBC local radio breakfast shows and although there have been a number of new female co-hosts, the network only has a handful of solo women breakfast presenters.
It will mean busy mornings for Feltz, who presents the early breakfast show on Radio 2, ending at 6.30am, half an hour before her Radio London breakfast show starts at 7am.
She might think about buying Chris Evans another alarm clock after the new Top Gear presenter turned up 30 minutes late to the Radio 2 breakfast show earlier this month. Feltz stayed on air on that occasion, but with a new breakfast show commitment, Radio 2 may have to come up with a plan B.
She will replace current breakfast presenters Penny Smith and Paul Ross, who leave Radio London but continue elsewhere on the BBC, Smith deputising on Radio 2 and Ross on Radio Berkshire.
Feltz said: “I am bubbling over with excitement at the opportunity to present the BBC Radio London breakfast show and I hope my lovely listeners will be up bright and early to enjoy the thrills and spills of this brand new programme.”
Radio London editor David Robey said: “Vanessa is one of the biggest names in radio with her programmes on BBC Radio London and BBC Radio 2, so I’m delighted even more listeners can now hear her at breakfast setting London’s news agenda as they wake.
“She’ll be challenging the decision makers and inviting her listeners to join the debate on the only breakfast news programme entirely dedicated to London.”
Other changes in the recently rebranded Radio London schedule will see Robert Elms movefrom 10am to 1pm, Jo Good’s show extended by an hour, from 1pm to 4pm, and Eddie Nestor’s drive time show also extended, from 4pm to 7pm.
The station is also considering a new early breakfast slot in the run-up to Feltz. The new schedule will start on Monday 4 January.