It seems that something my be up at BBC Radio 2. In the space of 2 days, 2 presenter changes have been announced at a time of year they wouldn’t normally mess with the schedules (they usually do it in April, probably to correspond with the start/end of the financial year).
A couple of days ago, it was announced that Clare Balding would, from Janury, present Good Morning Sunday each week between 6 and 9 am, replacing Aled Jones. When this was first announced I just thought it was related to the fact that Jones now has commitments with ITV, as he presents Daybreak during the week.
But I’m now not so sure. This afternoon, the BBC announced that Mark Radcliffe would present Radio 2’s folk show on a Wednesday evening, taking over from Mike Harding. Radcliffe isn’t the sort of person I would associate with folk music – at least not of the ‘Mike Harding variety’, though he is very good at the specialist music show he does on a Tuesday evening. That said, I do think Radcliffe would be quite good presenting a folk music show.
I now think that Radio 2 is trying to pitch some of its programmes at a different audience; certainly in the case of the folk show, Mark Radcliffe is arguably a more mainstream presenter who appeals to a much younger audience: I think they want to widen the appeal of Radio 2’s folk music programme. Only 2 years ago, Radcliffe was presenting a daily evening show on Radio 2, and its only in the last 10 years that he’s moved to Radio 2 from Radio 1.
As for Clare Balding: I don’t know what she’s like on the radio. She spends most of her time on TV. She’s a sporty person – not someone you’d associate with a ‘religious’ programme. I know that the current controller on Radio 2 is trying to get more female presenters on the air.
I’d be interested to know if there are any more changes planned for Radio 2. (Is the plan that Radcliffe will continue with his current Tuesday evening show on Radio 2)? Might Radio 2 try to find other presenters for its other specialist music shows – given some of their ages, they will have to do so at some point, its just a question of when.