Claudia Winkleman to quit BBC Radio 2 show

Comedian and actor Romesh Ranganathan will take over Winkleman’s timeslot in April 2024
Winkleman will step down from the show in March of next year, to be replaced by Ranganathan (right) - BBC

Claudia Winkleman has announced she will be stepping down from her BBC Radio 2 show after three years, with Romesh Ranganathan set to take over.

The presenter, 51, shared the news with her listeners during Saturday’s show and explained that she wishes to spend more time with her children.

Winkleman’s final show will be broadcast in March, after which she will be replaced by Ranganathan.

She said it had been an “absolute privilege” to host the show and thanked her listeners.

Claudia Winkleman on her BBC Radio 2 Saturday morning show
Claudia Winkleman on her BBC Radio 2 Saturday morning show

Announcing her departure live on air, she apologised to listeners for what she called “such a boring cliché“.

But she added: “Time is going too fast, my daughter is getting ready to leave home and she was three about five minutes ago.

“I still have a little one who wants to be with me, don’t know how long that will last, and I just need to be at home more.

“So my news at 10 is that I am leaving.”

“I couldn’t be happier that Romesh is taking over Saturday mornings on Radio 2. He is brilliantly laugh-out-loud funny and I’ll listen every single week as my kids beg me to leave them alone.”

She went on to play Oasis’s hit single You Gotta Roll With it.

Ranganathan added: “In my many years working as a maths teacher thinking ‘what would happen if I gave this up’, I never imagined I’d be sandwiched between Dermot O’Leary and Steve Wright on the UK’s most popular radio station every Saturday morning.

“I’m grateful to Claud for wanting to spend more time with her kids, and enabling me to spend less time with mine, and I look forward to finding out what the nation is up to at that time, as well as speaking to some familiar faces. It’s going to be fun. Probably.”

Ranganathan currently hosts For The Love of Hip-Hop on BBC Radio 2.

As well as her Radio 2 show, Winkleman also has regular TV roles as co-host of Strictly Come Dancing with Tess Daly, as well as being the presenter of hit reality show The Traitors and music show The Piano.

She has long been a recognisable face on Strictly but she also recently found huge success in her presenting career with BBC’s The Traitors.

The series became an instant hit with viewers when it first aired last year and it went on to win two trophies at the Bafta TV Awards.

Winkleman secured the award in the Entertainment Performance category while the wider team bagged the top spot for Reality and Constructed Factual show.

‘Funniest and smartest people on Earth’

Winkleman shares children Jake, 19, Matilda, 15, and Arthur, 10, with her film producer partner, Kris Thykier, 50, who she married in 2000.

In September, she admitted her husband is a better parent to their three children than her as she juggles hosting duties.

Although she loves being at home with her family, the star admitted it’s a delicate balancing act along with her duties at work.

In 2014, Winkleman’s daughter – then aged eight – sustained burns when her Halloween costume caught fire.

Reflecting on the incident later, Winkleman said: “She went up, is the only way I know how to describe it. It was not like fire I had seen before.”

Ranganathan will present his first show in April.

Winkleman, who took over the Saturday show almost three years ago, described Ranganathan as one of the “funniest and smartest people on Earth”.