Woman’s Hour host Jane Garvey reveals why she quit the BBC Radio 4 show

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Jane Garvey has revealed she quit as host of BBC Woman’s Hour because her indignation bank was ‘depleted’ after discussing the same issues for 13 years.

The Merseyside-born presenter, 56, who announced her departure from the role at the end of the year on Friday, said she feels the show needs a ‘reboot’.

Speaking on the Fortunately… with Fi and Jane podcast, Garvey admitted she’d become frustrated by the fact little has changed for women in over a decade – and denied claims she’d been sacked.

Asked if her heart ‘starts to sink’ as a result of frequently discussing the same topics, she said it would be ‘brilliant to have fresh indignation on the programme’.

Jane Garvey (pictured in 2016) has revealed she quit as host of BBC Woman's Hour because her indignation bank was 'depleted' after discussing the same issues for 13 years

Jane Garvey (pictured in 2016) has revealed she quit as host of BBC Woman’s Hour because her indignation bank was ‘depleted’ after discussing the same issues for 13 years

‘My indignation bank was somewhat depleted for precisely the reasons you’re describing,’ Garvey explained.

‘It is frustrating and I’ve been incredibly fortunate in every aspect of my life really.

‘A lot of things I was talking about have never personally, thank God, impacted on me or my nearest and dearest – and I am talking about hideous sexual violence and all those terrible things that you are obliged as a presenter on Woman’s Hour to visit quite regularly.

‘It just needs a reboot and now it’s going to get one.’

Garvey, who will continue working at the station, hosting her own high profile interview series from next year, said she felt she’d worked on the show for too long.

Garvey, who will continue working at the station, hosting her own high profile interview series from next year, said she felt she'd worked on the show for too long. Pictured with co-host Dame Jenni Murray

Garvey, who will continue working at the station, hosting her own high profile interview series from next year, said she felt she’d worked on the show for too long. Pictured with co-host Dame Jenni Murray

‘I realised I was now around about the same age as Jenni Murray had been when I went to Woman’s Hour – which was 13 years ago – and for some reason that made me think a little bit about my sort of place in the world and what I could actually offer, what I thought I could offer.

‘And then I realised, when I first went to the programme, my youngest daughter had just started in reception and she is now starting in Year 13. So I thought, [it’s] just too long.’ 

She added that being part of the ‘comforting fabric of national life’ is ‘lovely’, and described her replacement – Emma Barnett, 35 – as a ‘force of nature’.

Mother-of-two Garvey, who has interviewed some of the world’s biggest stars, joined the BBC in 1989 and was the first voice on BBC Radio 5 Live when it launched in March 1994.

Garvey, pictured in 2014, irked some listeners earlier this year and was accused of being 'snobby' when she called Arctic Rolls a 'low-level pudding'

Garvey, pictured in 2014, irked some listeners earlier this year and was accused of being ‘snobby’ when she called Arctic Rolls a ‘low-level pudding’

While she was with Radio 5 Live she presented the breakfast programme and the relaunched Midday show. Garvey also co-presented its Drive show on weekday afternoons with Peter Allen, for which the duo won four Sony Gold Awards.

In October 2007 Garvey joined Woman’s Hour – having left 5 Live after 13 years – succeeding Martha Kearney in the role. 

Friends of the presenter have claimed she made the decision to leave Woman’s Hour before co-host Dame Jenni Murray, who announced she was stepping down after more than three decades in July. The 70-year-old is the longest-serving presenter in the show’s 74-year history.

After the announcement Garvey was met with an outpouring of sadness from listeners, who asked if her departure was related to the show trying to capture a younger audience.

She replied to a fan on Twitter: ‘I am leaving partly because it would be much much easier to stay. Woman’s Hour will always have an ally in me. But it’s good to refresh.’  

After the announcement Garvey was met with an outpouring of sadness from listeners, who asked if her departure was related to the show trying to capture a younger audience

After the announcement Garvey was met with an outpouring of sadness from listeners, who asked if her departure was related to the show trying to capture a younger audience

Garvey irked some listeners earlier this year and was accused of being ‘snobby’ when she called Arctic Rolls a ‘low-level pudding’.

She made the comments while talking to comic Jayde Adams, who had revealed that when she would impersonate singer Adele she used to change the chorus of Skyfall to ‘Trifle, crumble and Arctic Roll’.

‘Anything with Arctic roll is funny. It’s a real.. and I don’t mean to be offensive.. but it’s a low-level pudding,’ responded Jane.

Many people were unimpressed with her views of the traditional British treat, which consists of vanilla ice-cream that has been wrapped in a thin sponge cake with jam.

She said at the end of the show: ‘Brief mention in apology corner to the regular purchasers and people who enjoy Arctic Roll.

‘To be honest with you, I don’t like Arctic Roll but I’m certainly not snobby about it. I do apologise if you are a big, big fan of Arctic Roll.’

Speaking about her decision to quit, she quipped on Twitter last week: ‘No, it wasn’t the bloody Arctic Roll thing that did for me in the end.’

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