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Michael Ball announced as Steve Wright’s replacement on BBC Radio 2’s Love Songs show

Singer and West End star Michael Ball will take over a new Sunday Love Songs show on BBC Radio 2, it has been announced, following the death of popular presenter Steve Wright earlier this year.

Ball, who currently presents for Radio 2 on Sundays between 11am to 1pm, will begin his new slow from 9-11am in June.

“Steve made Love Songs ‘appointment to listen’ radio,” Ball, 61, said in a statement.

“I’m beyond excited and more than a little nervous to be tasked with the chance to continue with his extraordinary legacy.

“Beautiful, moving, relaxing and uplifting music to lift the soul on a Sunday morning, coupled with the stories, suggestions, requests and precious memories from you, the listener, will ensure that this won’t be just MY show, but OUR show.

“I hope you will join us as we continue to share the love.”

Michael Ball with his longtime singing partner, Alfie Boe (Getty Images)
Michael Ball with his longtime singing partner, Alfie Boe (Getty Images)

Wright was one of Radio 2’s most popular long-serving hosts, and presented Love Songs even after he stepped down from the channel in September 2022.

He died in February, aged 69. Nicki Chapman has been filling in the Love Songs slot.

Steve Wright died in February this year (BBC)
Steve Wright died in February this year (BBC)

Meanwhile, Top Gear star Paddy McGuinness will host a new Sunday show from 11am to 1pm when Ball moves to the earlier time, broadcasting his show from Salford as part of the BBC’s bid to better represent audiences around the UK.

McGuinness made his Radio 2 debut last year while covering the pop quiz Ten to the Top, filling in for Vernon Kay who was fundraising for Children in Need.

He has also been sitting in for Rylan Clark on Saturday afternoons, and presented two shows over the Easter Weekend.

 (Getty Images for Paramount Pictu)
(Getty Images for Paramount Pictu)

“I’ve loved keeping Rylan’s seat warm on Saturday afternoons and returning to the airwaves over Easter,” McGuinness said.

“To be given my very own regular show on the legendary Radio 2 is a dream come true.”

Helen Thomas, head of Radio 2, said: “Although these are changes that we’d rather not be making given the circumstances, I’m delighted to welcome Paddy and Michael to their new Sunday slots on Radio 2.

“I’m looking forward to Michael’s new earlier show, where he’ll entertain his ‘lovelies’ as he’s always done, and Paddy made a huge impression on our listeners when he sat in for Rylan as well as with his Easter specials.

“I’d also like to thank Nicki Chapman for presenting brilliant editions of Sunday Love Songs for the past few weeks.”

You can find out more about Ball’s career in our profile of the singer and West End star here.

Additional reporting by agencies