Zoe Ball has been announced as the new presenter of the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show.
The news that she would be replacing current host Chris Evans was announced on the station on Wednesday.
“I’m not underestimating the task ahead of me,” she said earlier, revealing she “definitely didn’t expect to get the call” from Radio 2 bosses.
Ball, 47, was the first female breakfast show host on Radio 1 and will now repeat the honour on Radio 2.
She becomes the eighth person to host the most listened-to breakfast show in the UK.
Ball said she had known “for weeks” that she would be taking over and that she hoped she could continue hosting Strictly: It Takes Two on BBC Two.
She said she was feeling “a crazy mix of elation, wanting to burst into tears, wanting to run away…” but was “mainly thrilled.”
She also revealed that her son Woody had encouraged her to take the job, telling her it was “the coolest thing” and that “someone will listen”.
The appointment follows Chris Evans’ announcement last month that he is leaving Radio 2 after eight years hosting the breakfast show and 13 years on the station.
The new host of Ball’s current Saturday afternoon show on Radio 2 will be announced in due course.
The BBC said Sara Cox – who many had tipped to be Evans’ replacement – would be her stand-in when she is away, for 10 weeks each year.
Ball, who earned between £250,000 and £299,000 for her various work at the BBC last year, is likely to get a significant pay rise for her new role.
Evans, 52, was paid £1.6m last year to host the show, which is listened to by a weekly audience of 9 million people.
In a statement Zoe said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be following in the giant footsteps of Chris Evans as the host of the Radio 2 Breakfast Show. To be the first woman to present this very special show is both an honour and privilege.
“Believe me, I’m not underestimating the enormity of the task ahead, to follow not one but two of my broadcasting idols, into such a well-loved show is somewhat daunting but I hope, in the same way that Chris made this show his own after taking over from the wonderful Sir Terry Wogan, that with a top team alongside me, I can bring the fabulous Radio 2 audience a show they want to wake up to.”
Ball began her presenting career in the 1990s, hosting The Big Breakfast on Channel 4 and BBC One’s Saturday morning children’s programme Live & Kicking.
Between 1996 and 1998 she regularly presented Top of the Pops.
Her first foray into radio presenting came in 1997, when she became the first female DJ to present the BBC Radio 1 breakfast show alongside Kevin Greening.
She left the station in 2000, returning to radio in 2002 as a presenter at XFM.
Since 2006 she has presented as a stand-in on BBC Radio 2 and had her own Saturday breakfast show from 2009 to 2012.
She has covered for Chris Evans a number of times on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show and got her own show on the network last year, taking over Saturday afternoons from Dermot O’Leary.
Ball took part in a Sports Relief challenge in March 2018 in memory of her late boyfriend, Billy Yates.
She cycled from Blackpool to Brighton to raise awareness of mental health, raising more than £500,000 for charity in five days.
Source BBC News