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Claudia Winkleman signs off Radio 2 show with emotional goodbye to listeners

Claudia Winkleman said a heartfelt goodbye to her BBC Radio 2 listeners as she signed off her final show on the network.

The presenter has been a regular on the station’s airwaves since 2008 and hosted the 10am to 1pm Saturday slot since 2021, when she took over from Graham Norton.

Comedian Romesh Ranganathan will take over the show in April.

After revealing the reasons behind her decision to give up the show back in December, Winkleman, 52, signed off on her final show on Saturday 23 March.

The Traitors host gave an emotional speech towards the end of the show, addressing her listeners while fighting tears.

“We have come to the end and I am allergic, I don’t know whether you know this [but I’m allergic] to goodbyes,” Winkleman said.

Among those she mentioned in her thank-you message included various Radio 2 colleagues, but placed special focus on those who have tuned in to her show over the last three years.

Claudia Winkleman has departed her BBC Radio 2 show (Getty Images)
Claudia Winkleman has departed her BBC Radio 2 show (Getty Images)

“But my biggest thanks are to you, the listeners,” she said. “I have worked in telly for, I think, 24 years and I’m just being completely honest, I have never been more nervous than I was taking over for Graham.

“And you were warm, you were so welcoming, you were so lovely to me. I love your excellent weekly messages, all the updates.

“So, I just want to say thank you so much. Do me one last favour, be lovely to Romesh and please look after my [traffic news reporter] Sally [Boazman]. This is from me, to you and it could only be this.”

Winkleman then queued up the final song of her tenure: “Wonderwall” by Oasis.

Throughout the show, various friends, colleagues and celebrity listeners had shared well wishes for Winkleman, including Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and fellow Radio 2 presenters Jeremy Vine and Rob Beckett.

Romesh Ranganathan will take over the Saturday Radio 2 late morning slot in April (Getty Images for Warner Bros. Pictures)
Romesh Ranganathan will take over the Saturday Radio 2 late morning slot in April (Getty Images for Warner Bros. Pictures)

Winkleman’s successor Ranganathan expressed his appreciation for the departing host, telling her: “I just wanted to wish you the very, very best of luck; not luck, you don’t need like luck, the very, very best of wishes for your last show.

“I’m so excited and nervous to take over the show and every time [I’ll] be doing the show, I’ll be thinking I’m enjoying doing the show, but isn’t it a shame that Claudia isn’t doing the show?

“The point I’m trying to make is I love you, Claudia. All the best.”

Ranganathan also hosts the reboot of The Weakest Link, while Winkleman is expected to return for season three of the popular game show The Traitors, slated for early 2025, as well as her co-hosting duties on Strictly Come Dancing with Tess Daly in the autumn.