Helen Skelton to replace Laura Whitmore on Radio 5 Live

Helen Skelton has been confirmed as the new host of a Radio 5 Live Sunday morning slot, after current presenter Laura Whitmore announced her departure earlier this week.

Skelton, 39, began her presenting career on Blue Peter in 2008, before going on to present BBC One’s Countryfile, a role she has held since 2014.

On Wednesday it was announced that Irish presenter Whitmore, 37, would be leaving her self-titled Sunday morning show after four years.

Controller of BBC Radio 5 Live Heidi Dawson said: “Laura has made the difficult decision to leave her weekend show after a brilliant four years.

“We’d like to thank her for the energy, insight and humour she has brought to this programme and look forward to working with her again in the near future.”

Skelton will take over the 10am-12pm slot to present a “new-look” Sunday programme.

Speaking about the new show, she said: “I am really grateful to be joining the 5 Live family on a regular basis.

“I’ve worked with the station for years, and I’m looking forward to celebrating and showcasing some of the stories and events the top 5 Live team cover.

“I’m truly excited to get started!”

Helen Skelton
Helen Skelton (PA)

The show will reportedly combine discussion of sport and current affairs, which will build up to the station’s afternoon live football commentary.

Skelton will regularly chat to notable sporting figures, while the programme will also aim highlight some of the weekend’s smaller, less publicised sporting fixtures.

Skelton previously hosted a Sunday afternoon slot on the network during the Covid-19 lockdown on which she spoke to celebrity guests about everyday life and keeping well and occupied during the pandemic.

Whitmore also currently presents ITV2’s hit dating show, Love Island, and its spin-off series Aftersun, a role she has held since 2020 after the death of the show’s former presenter Caroline Flack.

Skelton’s new show will be broadcast live from Leeds as part of the BBC’s plan to broaden its creative and journalistic work across the UK.

The show is expected to launch on BBC Radio 5 Live on August 14 at 10am and will air weekly.