Simon Mayo to leave BBC Radio 2, Jo Whiley to front new show in 2019

The latest Drivetime pairing will come to an end after just seven months.

Simon Mayo is to leave BBC Radio 2.

The veteran broadcaster has spent 17 years at the station, fronting the Drivetime show for eight years until May 2018. Since then, he has been joined by Jo Whiley for an extended 5-8pm broadcast, which will cease when Simon leaves Radio 2 at the end of the year.

Simon commented: “Obviously, I’m very sad to be leaving Radio 2, and my good friend Jo. However, 2019 looks like being incredibly exciting for me. I have a new two book deal with Transworld, my children’s series Itch is being filmed for TV in Australia in early 2019, and I’m continuing to develop my novel Mad Blood Stirring for a movie with screenwriter Jack Thorne. 

“Radio 2 has been a quite wonderful experience - my happiest in radio I think - but new adventures beckon and I cannot wait to get started.”

Despite his many exciting projects coming up, Simon is sticking with the BBC, and will continue his Film Review show with Mark Kermode on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Jo Whiley will also leave Drivetime, and has secured a 7-9pm slot on Monday through Thursday. Who will take over the coveted evening slot in the New Year is yet to be announced.

"I’m incredibly sad that Simon has decided to leave Radio 2. He’s a brilliant broadcaster, a great friend and I really will miss working with him. However, I’m very much looking forward to hosting a new show for a new year which will have music at the very heart of it as well as guests and live sessions. Dream show, actually. Can’t wait!"

Simon is the second big name to announce he is leaving BBC Radio 2; just a few months ago, it was revealed that Chris Evans has jumped ship to Virgin Radio.