Why is Vanessa Feltz leaving BBC Radio 2 and Radio London? Where will she go next and who will replace her
After almost 20 years at the helm, the presenter has announced that she is moving away from Radio 2 and BBC Radio London into an entirely new arena
Vanessa Feltz has announced that she will be moving into the world of TV, after departing her radio shows.
The broadcaster and TV personality said in July that she was leaving her early morning radio show on BBC Radio 2 and the Breakfast Show on BBC Radio London, but did not clarify what she was planning next.
She had hosted the latter for almost 20 years, saying she “loved every moment” of it when she confirmed her departure.
The former Strictly Come Dancing star’s retirement plans have been cut short though, as she is now joining the TalkTV team.
The presenter has already made a few appearances on the show as a guest, and now she will permanently host the drivetime slot from 4-7pm Monday to Friday.
Feltz is one of the BBC’s top earners - according to recently released BBC figures, she was revealed as one of just three women in the top 10 highest paid on-air talent, with her salary of £400,000-£404,999 putting her in eighth place. Zoe Ball and Fiona Bruce were the other two female hosts to make the top 10 list.
This is what you need to know.
What did Vanessa Feltz say when leaving her radio shows?
Feltz has confirmed that she will be leaving both her radio shows on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio London, telling listeners that she has “loved every moment” of her early-morning programmes but is stepping down to catch up on a “decade’s deficit of beauty sleep”.
In a statement, Feltz said: “I have loved every moment with my Radio 2 ‘Early Birds’ and will miss my Lovely Listeners, Jolly Good Fellows and beloved friends and colleagues at Radio 2 with all my heart.
“However, after almost 12 blissful years, I now need to step down to catch up on a much-needed decade’s deficit of beauty sleep.
“It’s been an honour and privilege to be the breakfast voice of BBC Radio London for 20 years and, although I’m leaving the show, I’ll continue to expect hugs from my lovely listeners when I see them on the streets of London.”
She added: “I will enjoy a dollop of energy-boosting shut-eye to swing from ziplines with my three effervescent grandchildren and frolic with my fiance Ben, who irritatingly remains 10 years younger than me.”
When was her last show?
Feltz hosted her last ever early morning Radio 2 show on 29 July and, following a two-week break, she covered Jeremy Vine’s show for a further two weeks from 15 August.
Her last day covering for Vine was today (26 August), wh will mark her final day at BBC Radio 2, as well as her final BBC Radio London show as well.
Feltz began presenting the Radio 2 Early Breakfast Show in January 2011, from 5am-6.30am, which was extended to 4am from January 2021.
As well as covering daily news, her shows contained features including Famous Last Words, Jolly Good Fellows, The Feltz Philological Challenge and Early Bird Earworms.
Before taking over the BBC Radio London breakfast show in January 2016, Feltz presented the mid-morning phone-in programme on the station for 10 years, and from 2001 hosted a mid-afternoon phone-in show.
Who is Vanessa Feltz?
Feltz is an English TV presenter and broadcaster who was born in Islington on 21 February 1962.
After graduating with a first class honours degree in English from Trinity College in Cambridge, she went on to become the first female columnist for The Jewish Chronicle before going on to join the Daily Mirror.
In 1995, she published her book, What Are These Strawberries Doing on My Nipples?: I Need Them for the Fruit Salad, which described itself as “a selection of sex tips for girls revealing how women really feel about sex”.
As well as knowing her from the radio, you might recognise Feltz from her various TV appearances.
She replaced Paula Yates on the Channel 4 morning TV show The Big Breakfast, from 1996 to 1998, and hosted the ITV talk show Vanessa from 1994 to 1998. In 1998, she moved over to the BBC to host a similar programme called The Vanessa Show until it was cancelled in 1999.
In 2001, she took part in the first season of Celebrity Big Brother, and went on to star in its spin off shows like Big Brother’s Big Mouth, Big Brother’s Little Brother and Big Brother’s Bit on the Side.
From 2003 to 2005, Feltz made regular appearances on The Wright Stuff, and in 2004 she also appeared in the second season of the reality TV show Celebrity Fit Club which saw celebrities take on the challenge of losing weight for charity.
Feltz and fiance Ben Ofoedu took part in the Channel 4 show Wife Swap, where they switched partners with magician Paul Daniels and his wife Debbie McGee.
She returned to the Big Brother house in 2010 to appear on Ultimate Big Brother, but was ultimately evicted two days before the final.
In 2013, Feltz was paired up with professional dancer James Jordan for Strictly Come Dancing, however she was eliminated in the third week.