Vanessa Feltz becomes the latest star to abandon the BBC and will present her final show on Friday

Vanessa Feltz becomes the latest star to abandon the BBC: £400,000 host of the early breakfast show on Radio 2 will present her final show on Friday

  • Vanessa Feltz has announced she is leaving her BBC Radio 2 breakfast show 
  • She earns salary of more than £400k making her BBC’s eighth-highest earner
  • Ms Feltz said she had to step down to ‘catch up on deficit of beauty sleep’ 
  • She follows Radio 2 veteran Steve Wright who left his afternoon slot this month

Vanessa Feltz has become the latest start to abandon the BBC and will present her Radio 2 show for the final time on Friday.

The 60-year-old presenter, whose salary of more than £400,000 makes her the BBC’s eighth-highest earner, has quit her early morning breakfast show after nearly 20 years on air.

Ms Feltz said she had to step down ‘to catch up on a much-needed decade’s deficit of beauty sleep’ and use her ‘energy-boosting shut-eye’ to ‘frolic with her fiancé Ben Ofoedu ‘who irritatingly remains 10 years younger than me.’

Breaking down on her show this morning as she announced the news to her listeners, the star said she would ‘try not to cry’. 

She said: ‘I have something to tell you, and I know you already know that I love you – oh I knew I was going to cry but I’m going to try not too…’

‘It has been an honour to share the early hours with you.’

The star follows DJ Steve Wright who quit his Radio 2 show live on air earlier this month after more than 40 years with the broadcaster.

Vanessa Feltz

Vanessa Feltz

Vanessa Feltz has become the latest start to abandon the BBC and will present Radio 2 for the final time on Friday. Pictured: Announcing the news to her listeners on Thursday morning 

The 60-year-old presenter (pictured), whose salary of more than £400,000 makes her the BBC's eighth-highest earner, has quit her early morning breakfast show after nearly 20 years on air

The 60-year-old presenter (pictured), whose salary of more than £400,000 makes her the BBC’s eighth-highest earner, has quit her early morning breakfast show after nearly 20 years on air

In a statement shared this morning, Ms 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!

‘I will enjoy a dollop of energy-boosting shut-eye to swing from zip-lines with my three effervescent grandchildren and frolic with my fiancé Ben, who irritatingly remains 10 years younger than me!’

Speaking on the Radio 2 breakfast show after Ms Feltz announced her departure, Zoe Ball described her fellow presenter as ‘always glamorous and quite possibly the cleverest person I know’.

She added: ‘I’m not going to lie, we are all in tears at Radio 2. She’s always been outrageous and the hardest working lass.

Ms Feltz (left) said she had to step down 'to catch up on a much-needed decade's deficit of beauty sleep' and use her 'energy-boosting shut-eye' to 'frolic with her fiancé Ben Ofoedu (right) who 'irritatingly remains 10 years younger than me'

Ms Feltz (left) said she had to step down ‘to catch up on a much-needed decade’s deficit of beauty sleep’ and use her ‘energy-boosting shut-eye’ to ‘frolic with her fiancé Ben Ofoedu (right) who ‘irritatingly remains 10 years younger than me’

‘Wherever she goes next, whatever she does, she will be golden at it and be very lucky to have her. We will give her the bumps at some point.’

Discussing the stars exit, Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, said: ‘For almost 12 years, Vanessa has made her live weekday Early Breakfast Show her very own kingdom, and I’d like to thank her wholeheartedly for the thousands of middle-of-the-night starts she’s made to entertain the Radio 2 listeners. 

‘On behalf of them, as well as everyone in Wogan House, I’d like to send Lady V our very best wishes for the future.’

Chris Burns, Controller Local Audio Commissioning, added: ‘Every weekday Vanessa has breezed straight from her Radio 2 programme into the Radio London breakfast show, barely pausing for breath. She has effortlessly entertained her ‘lovely listener’ and sternly held the city’s and country’s decision makers to account.

Moving on: BBC Radio has announced a major shake-up as Steve Wright revealed he is leaving his long-running Radio 2 afternoon slot and will be replaced by Scott Mills

Moving on: BBC Radio has announced a major shake-up as Steve Wright revealed he is leaving his long-running Radio 2 afternoon slot and will be replaced by Scott Mills

‘The brightest spark you could ever meet – no matter how early it is and what’s going on in the news – to say Vanessa’s voice will be missed is an understatement. We wish her well and thank her dearly for her incredible service.’ 

The broadcaster began presenting the Radio 2 Early Breakfast Show in January 2011, from 5am to 6.30am, which was extended to 4am from January 2021. 

Ms Feltz will cover for Jeremy Vine for two weeks as planned and bid farewell to Radio 2 listeners on Friday 26 August.

Radio 2 and BBC Radio London will announce their new respective morning schedules at a later date.

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