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Zoe Ball ‘welcomes’ divisive new Radio 2 hire as fans threaten to stop listening

In Europe
April 03, 2024

Zoe Ball has weighed in on the debate around BBC Radio 2’s divisive new hire, after backlash erupted online following the announcement.

After the death of Steve Wright on 12 February this year, the broadcaster confirmed a number of changes to its Sunday programming, which left some listeners unhappy and threatening to stop listening to the station altogether.

On Tuesday (2 April), Michael Ball was announced as Wright’s replacement for Love Songs, which will air from 9 to 11am.

Top Gear host Paddy McGuinness will take over Michael Ball’s existing 11am to 1pm slot with a new radio show – and his appointment raised some eyebrows.

“What is the BBC’s obsession with Paddy McGuinness???? I’d rather ram hot pokers in my ears than listen to him on the radio,” said one angry fan.

Others continue to blame McGuinness for the axing of Question of Sport saying, “How many programmes are the BBC going to allow Paddy McGuinness to ruin, before they realise he is not popular with the listeners/viewers?”

However, his fellow BBC Radio 2 host, Zoe Ball, welcomed McGuinness with a friendly post on her Instagram stories alluding to their hometowns.

“Welcome. Bolton Massive,” she shared alongside a repost of the Take Me Out presenter’s announcement.

But it hasn’t stopped listeners threatening to tune out. “I really dislike Paddy McGuiness so unfortunately I will not be listening on Sundays now,” concluded another fan.

Zoe Ball weighed in on debate around the appointment of Paddy McGuinness (Getty/BBC/Getty)

Zoe Ball weighed in on debate around the appointment of Paddy McGuinness (Getty/BBC/Getty)

In February, McGuinness defended his appearance on politics show Question Time after viewers questioned his credentials.

At the time, the presenter said he believed his class had been a factor in the criticism he received, but insisted he had a right to weigh in on the issues.

“Being working class people look at you as the place you are from as you still speak like them – if I hadn’t have done it then you’re not getting people’s voice across.

“Rightly or wrongly. I’m not even a very political person but I think things like the NHS, you don’t have to be a political person, we all use it and our families use it and everyone knows the state it’s in at the minute so I felt I had a bit of an input with that, like we all do.”

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