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New host of Radio 2’s Love Songs show announced following Steve Wright’s death

The veteran presenter died in February.

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Steve Wright death

Michael Ball is to present a new Sunday Love Songs show on BBC Radio 2, following the death of Steve Wright earlier this year, it has been announced.

Singer and West End star Ball, who currently presents on Sundays from 11am-1pm, will host Love Songs with Michael Ball from 9-11am from June.

He said: “Steve made Love Songs ‘appointment to listen’ radio.

“I’m beyond excited and more than a little nervous to be tasked with the chance to continue with his extraordinary legacy.

BBC Children in Need 2023
Michael Ball will present Sunday Love Songs on BBC Radio 2 from June (Danny Lawson/PA)

“Beautiful, moving, relaxing and uplifting music to lift the soul on a Sunday morning, coupled with the stories, suggestions, requests and precious memories from you, the listener, will ensure that this won’t be just MY show, but OUR show.

“I hope you will join us as we continue to share the love.”

Wright was the long-time host of the Love Songs show on the radio station and continued to present it even after he stepped down from his weekday afternoon show on Radio 2 in September 2022.

Wright died in February at the age of 69 and Nicki Chapman has been filling in the Love Songs slot.

Top Gear star Paddy McGuinness will host a new Sunday show from 11am-1pm from June when Ball moves to the earlier time to front Love Songs.

He will broadcast the show from Salford as part of the BBC’s bid to better reflect, represent and serve all audiences around the country.

McGuinness first presented on Radio 2 last year when covering the pop quiz Ten To The Top while Vernon Kay was fundraising for Children In Need.

Sumotherhood world premiere – London
Paddy McGuinness will host a new Sunday show on Radio 2 from 11am-1pm (Ian West/PA)

He has recently been sitting in for Rylan Clark on Saturday afternoons, and presented two shows over the Easter weekend.

He said: “I’ve loved keeping Rylan’s seat warm on Saturday afternoons and returning to the airwaves over Easter.

“To be given my very own regular show on the legendary Radio 2 is a dream come true.”

Helen Thomas, head of Radio 2, said: “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.

“I’d also like to thank Nicki Chapman for presenting brilliant editions of Sunday Love Songs for the past few weeks.”

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