Steve Wright is to leave his BBC Radio 2 weekday show after almost 24 years, after the station’s boss told him she wants to do “something different” with the mid-afternoon slot.
The show will come to an end in the autumn, the BBC confirmed, with Radio 1’s Scott Mills taking over.
Wright, 67, announced his departure live on air on Friday and said he would be remaining at the BBC to work on other projects, including a podcast series.
He told listeners: “At the beginning of this year, my friend and boss Helen Thomas, head of Radio 2, said she wanted to do something different in the afternoons. Now, I’ve been doing this programme for 24 years at Radio 2, and so how can I possibly complain?
“The support and creative freedom that I’m given is fantastic at Radio 2 and really I can’t hog the slot for ever, so let’s give somebody else a go.”
He added: “The great news is, onwards and upwards. I’m staying at the BBC and radio to do some very exciting, brand-new digital projects and developing new podcasts, some of which actually will feature elements of this programme Steve Wright in the Afternoon.
“Anyway, all will become clear in the next few months, because we’re staying on this programme until the autumn.”
Fans will still be able to listen to him present Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs on the same station.
Steve Wright in the Afternoon began on Radio 2 in 1999, relaunching a show he had hosted on Radio 1 from 1981 to 1993.
Mills, whom Wright described as “brilliant and versatile”, will leave Radio 1 to take over the slot, and will no longer present his Saturday morning show on Radio 5 live. The new show will be an hour shorter, running from 2pm-4pm, with Sara Cox’s show extended by an hour.
“I really cannot believe I’m going to be calling Radio 2 my new home,” Mills said. “I’m beyond excited to be joining the team.”