Paul O’Grady reveals he ‘wasn’t really happy’ sharing his BBC Radio 2 slot as he quits

·3 min read
Paul O'Grady - Jeff Spicer/Getty Images
Paul O'Grady - Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Paul O'Grady has revealed he is quitting his BBC Radio 2 show as he "wasn't really happy" with the schedule shake-up which saw him share the slot with another presenter.

The 67-year-old has hosted the Sunday afternoon programme for around 14 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.

In a video shared on his Instagram ahead of his final show at the station on Sunday, O'Grady explained why he had decided to leave.

He said: "The reason I'm leaving, because everybody's asked me this, is because I wasn't really happy with the 13 weeks on, 13 weeks off business.

"So I did the honourable thing, I honoured my contract, gave my notice in and now I'm off.

"Thanks very much and good luck to everyone on Radio 2 and long may it continue."

'I did the honourable thing'

The presenter also thanked fans for their kind messages following his announcement earlier this month that he was leaving.

He gave a special mention to his producer Malcolm Prince, saying: "I've been really lucky in my time to have worked with some smashing producers and Malcolm is way up there believe you me."

On Sunday, he thanked his listeners for tuning in and getting involved over the last 14 years as he closed out his final show.

Speaking to his producer Malcolm Prince, he said: “This is the last Sunday Paul O'Grady show here on Radio 2 ever. It’s hard to say this, Malcolm, because it’s been almost 14 years hasn't it.

“Do you know this is one of the longest jobs I’ve ever held down. I only came to do a few hours for Elaine Paige and look what happened.

“Anyway, I always used to say I was running from the building and there was a great big bubble that would catch me on Oxford Street and bring me back like the prisoner, but it’s not today and I can run free.”

After playing his last track, Friends by Bette Midler, he added: “From all of us here, from me and from Malcolm and everybody, thank you for tuning in these past 546 programmes. So you look after yourselves, stay safe and well. Ta-ra everyone.”

Replaced by Scott Mills

O'Grady 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.

O'Grady's 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 Aug 21.