Nihal Arthanayake to leave daytimes on BBC Radio 5 Live

BBC Radio 5 Live afternoon presenter Nihal Arthanayake has just announced he’s leaving the afternoon show.

The former Radio 1 and Asian Network host has been on 5 live for eight years, having joined to host afternoons with Sarah Brett in 2016.

He joined the BBC in 2002 for programmes on Radio 1, moving up to the weekend breakfast show in 2007 and a daily phone-in on Asian Network.

His last weekday 1-4pm show will be on June 27th, and will host interviews each Sunday on 5 Live at 8pm from September.

Nihal said: “I’ve got a second book to write and I need some time and space, and do some other things that I’ve always wanted to do.”

Nihal’s Headliners podcast is being extended too with additional and exclusive material that won’t be heard on the Sunday programme.

These interviews will also be released in the Headliners podcast each week on BBC Sounds.

Nihal Arthanayake says: “I’m incredibly excited to have been given my own space on BBC Radio 5 Live to purely do what I love most about broadcasting, in-depth interviews with fascinating people. I want to create something distinct and unique for a new audience on Sunday evenings as well as my podcast. I want both to become a time for my listeners to be inspired and celebrate creativity and culture in all its forms.”

Heidi Dawson, Controller, BBC Radio 5 Live, says: “Nihal is an outstanding broadcaster and interviewer, and this new programme gives him the opportunity for to showcase the best long form interviews that he is so good at.

“The brilliant Headliners podcast is also going to be supersized – packed with all the interviews from the show plus exclusive unheard extras from the guests.”

Further details on the schedule will be announced in due course.