Paul O’Grady quits Radio 2 show after shake-up saw him sharing with Rob Beckett

·2 min read

Paul O’Grady is quitting his BBC Radio 2 show following a shake-up which saw him share the slot with another presenter.

The 67-year-old hosted the Sunday afternoon programme for almost 13 years before a change saw him regularly swapping with comic Rob Beckett.

The duo have been hosting their shows alternately, each for 13 weeks at a time.

O’Grady’s last show will be on Sunday August 14, when his current cycle ends.

He said: “I’ve loved doing my Sunday afternoon show for the last 14 years and I’m going to miss my listeners, as well as the fun I’ve had with my producer Malcolm Prince, but I feel that now is the right time to go.”

He is the latest established presenter to leave the station, after Steve Wright, also 67, was replaced by Scott Mills, 48, after 24 years on the network.

Vanessa Feltz, 60, is also stepping back from her shows on Radio 2 and BBC Radio London after almost 20 years at the helm.

Helen Thomas, head of Radio 2, said: “I’d like to thank Paul for so many years of his brilliant Sunday afternoon show.

“I’m sorry to see him go, but I wish Paul the very best of luck for the future and hope to work with him again as the door is always open to him here at Radio 2.”

Teenage Cancer Trust Concert 2022 – London
Rob Beckett (PA)

In February, after the schedule change prompted an unhappy response from listeners, the BBC said plans “evolve over time”.

“Paul is much-loved by many of our listeners, and, whilst we’re making this change to Sunday afternoons, he very much remains a firm favourite here in Wogan House,” it said.

The presenter, also known for his drag queen persona Lily Savage, told his Instagram followers the arrangement with Beckett was “nothing to do with me”.

O’Grady launched his weekly show in the Sunday time slot in 2009.

His final show will feature his regular features, including Lost TV Theme, the Thank You Letter Of The Week and an unexpected playlist.

The BBC confirmed Beckett will return for at least another 13 weeks of shows from Sunday August 21.