BBC outrage as Radio 2 listeners vow to 'switch off' over Steve Wright replacements: 'Load of rubbish!'

BBC outrage as Radio 2 listeners vow to 'switch off' over Steve Wright replacements: 'Load of rubbish!'

WATCH HERE: Eamonn Holmes discusses the death of Steve Wright aged 69

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 02/04/2024

- 13:24

Updated: 02/04/2024

- 13:44

The Beeb has come under fire for its new plans for Sundays on Radio 2

The BBC has today unveiled its upcoming plans for Radio 2 following the death of Steve Wright on February 12.

Wright died at the age of 69 after spending decades as one of radio's best-loved voices, fronting shows such as Steve Wright's Love Songs and Steve Wright in the Afternoon.

On Tuesday, the BBC announced a new-look format for Sundays on Radio 2 and confirmed that singer Michael Ball will be the man tasked with keeping Love Songs going.

Ball currently fronts his own show from 11am to 1pm on the radio station but from June, his Sunday slot will be moved forward to 9am.

The 61-year-old said of his appointment: "I'm beyond excited and more than a little nervous to be tasked with the chance to continue with [Wright's] extraordinary legacy."

The BBC has also announced that Paddy McGuinness will step into the 11am Sunday slot in Ball's place.

Steve Wright

Steve Wright died in February


McGuinness will present an entirely new show of his own from June having fronted Top Gear, I Can See Your Voice and Question of Sport for the Beeb in recent years - all of which have since been shelved.

The former Take Me Out host is no stranger to Radio 2 listeners, however, having stepped in as temporary cover for the likes of Vernon Kay and Rylan Clark in the past.

McGuinness branded the appointment a "dream come true", but judging by the reaction from several Radio 2 listeners following the news, the optimism isn't widely shared.

After the BBC Press Office shared the announcement on its X, formerly Twitter page, one fan furiously responded: "Seriously @BBCRadio2 can you not find fresh talent from local radio instead of awful 'celebrities'. No wonder folk are turning off."

"April Fools Day was yesterday," a second quipped before a third hit out: "What is the BBC obsession with constantly pushing the talentless Paddy McGuinness on us. Another Sunday listener switch off at 11am."

A fourth also vowed to boycott: "I really dislike Paddy McGuiness so unfortunately I will not be listening on Sundays now. Such a shame. I totally understand they did to find a replacement for the much missed Steve Wright but I do not get this choice."

Elsewhere, a fifth fumed: "Load of rubbish….there's plenty of radio talent in the UK, start using radio people instead of people who are on tv….no disrespect to paddy but I won’t be tuning in!!!"

"Now that Paddy’s there that means R2 will lose more listeners than they already have done," a sixth warned, although there was some support for the changes.

"Great news, makes Radio 2 Sundays even better," one person argued before a second simply put: "Sounds nice."

Ball and McGuiness were the two biggest appointments in the BBC's latest announcement but there have also been specials and shows lined up for the likes of Romesh Ranganathan, Jane McDonald, Bob Harris, Beverley Knight, Tony Blackburn, and Judi Love.

Paddy McGuinness and Michael Ball

Paddy McGuinness and Michael Ball have been unveiled as Steve Wright replacements


A Pick of the Pops host will be announced in "due course" and will take the reins from McGuinness in the 1pm slot.

Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, welcomed the changes, saying in a statement: "Although these are changes that we’d rather not be making, given the circumstances, I’m delighted to welcome Paddy and Michael to their new Sunday slots on Radio 2.

"I’m looking forward to Michael’s new earlier show, where he’ll entertain his 'lovelies' as he's always done, and Paddy made a huge impression on our listeners when he sat in for Rylan as well as with his Easter specials."

It's not the first time this year the Beeb has come under fire for its radio appointments after listeners were left fuming at the decision to appoint Jamie Laing as Jordan North's replacement on Radio 1.

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