Steve Wright to replace Paul Gambaccini on Pick of the Pops at Radio 2

BBC Radio 2 is moving Paul Gambaccini off Pick of the Pops to make way for Steve Wright.

Gambo is staying at the station – he’ll host a new Sunday night show whilst Wrighty takes on 1pm till 3pm each Saturday in addition to Sunday Love Songs.

Steve says: “Pick of the Pops is such a legendary show. Gambo brilliantly made it his own over the last seven and a half years, and now it’s my chance to give it a go!

“It’s a great privilege to present such an iconic show on Radio 2, and Pick of the Pops fans don’t worry – it’s going be the same and different at the same time.

Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2 says: “I’m delighted Steve will be picking up the mantle of the mighty Pick of the Pops in the autumn. I can’t wait to hear his unique take on the songs that over the decades have soundtracked all of our lives. Steve will continue to broadcast specials across the station, including our long-awaited Kylie Minogue listener vote, and he’ll carry on soothing the nation every Sunday morning with his ever popular Sunday Love Songs show.”

Paul’s new show will see him playing some of his favourite lesser-known records from the 1950s onwards. He’ll be sharing his knowledge of the artists and bands he is playing, as well as mining his memory bank for the stories which reflect his life lived in music and radio.

In October, Radio 2 will celebrate Paul’s 50th anniversary as a national broadcaster with a very special show, and he will also present a number of artist specials on the station.

Paul says: “This year marks the 25th anniversary of my happy relationship with Radio 2, which began with America’s Greatest Hits. When I accepted the Pick of the Pops assignment in 2016, I was told it would be for between five and ten years. Here we are, smack dab in the middle, seven-and-a-half years later, and it is time for Chapter Three. I am delighted that on the new show I will have the opportunity to present neglected gems from the past century, be they album tracks, 7” B-sides or missed hits. The show will be live, because live is best. It is a happy presenter who gets to share great music of his choice with loyal long-term listeners.

“I’m also grateful that this autumn Radio 2 will observe my 50 continuous years as a national broadcaster, which began on Radio 1 in October 1973.”

Helen Thomas added: “I’d like to thank Paul for presenting Pick of the Pops so brilliantly since 2016. Given Paul’s passion for music of all eras and genres I wanted to create a new Radio 2 home for him which allows him to showcase his unparalleled knowledge whilst playing some of the best records in the world. I can’t wait to hear Paul’s first show in October, and I’m looking forward to celebrating his broadcasting golden anniversary this Autumn.”

Steve’s forthcoming specials include Steve Wright’s Summer Nights (Monday 21st – Thursday 24th August 7-9pm). Produced by BBC Audio, Steve will be live with the songs that sound good in the summer, from L.A. soft rock, to Summer of Love hits and the coolest contemporary summer tunes, as well as playing listeners’ summer shout-outs.

From Monday 21st August, BBC Sounds will launch Steve Wright’s Love Songs Extra, four 30m shows, each focussing on one year. Listeners will hear a blend of classic love songs and real-life romance stories, all from 1983, 1993, 2003 or 2013.

Also previewing on Monday 21st August on BBC Sounds, Steve presents Your Ultimate Kylie Song, the full Top 40 countdown of Radio 2 listeners’ favourite Kylie songs. The show will be exclusively available on BBC Sounds from Monday 21st August and broadcast on Radio 2 on Monday 28th August from 4-7pm.