Graham Norton’s replacement on BBC Radio 2 revealed

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Graham Norton. Photo: PA Media
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By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Claudia Winkleman will replace Graham Norton as the host of BBC Radio 2’s Saturday morning show.

The Strictly Come Dancing co-host, 48, will take over the slot, which broadcasts from Wogan House in London, from February 2021.

Winkleman, who earned about £365,000 in 2019/20, appeared on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show for the announcement on Monday.

She told Ball she had initially assumed the appointment was “just a massive practical joke” and that she was “really terrified” because there were “enormous shoes to fill”.

Norton is joining Virgin Radio as a weekend host next year, following in the footsteps of ex-Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans.

In a statement, Winkleman added: “I’m not often speechless but the chance to be with the wonderful Radio 2 listeners every Saturday has left me, quite frankly, gobsmacked.

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“I hope my voice comes back in time for the first show as I can no longer simply rely on a fake tan and a fringe.

Claudia Winkleman on Strictly Come Dancing (BBC/PA)

“There’s nobody I’d rather be with at the weekend, it’s a privilege and an honour.”

Chat show host Norton, 57, will present his final Saturday programme on Radio 2 on December 19, 10 years after his first Saturday morning show for the station.

Winkleman joined Radio 2 in spring 2008, hosting a comedy quiz series called Hot Gossip before moving to Friday nights to host the Claudia Winkleman Arts Show.

Helen Thomas, head of Radio 2, said: “As Claudia is one of the UK’s best-loved entertainers and a firm favourite with our listeners, I’m over the moon that she’ll be bringing her enormous warmth and wit to Saturday mornings on Radio 2.”

The Radio 2 Saturday morning show airs from 10am to 1pm.

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