Why is Nicky Campbell leaving BBC Radio 5 Live and who will replace him?

Nicky Campbell
(Image credit: Getty)

Radio listeners are wondering if Nicky Campbell is leaving BBC Radio 5 Live and who will replace him?

Breakfast radio listeners tuning in to BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast show will be wondering why there is going to be a change to its presenters - with some fans asking why is Nicky Campbell leaving BBC Radio 5 Live?

It's not the first time the BBC has announced a shake-up to its radio presenters. Nick Grimshaw announced he was leaving Radio One, while Annie-Mac confirmed she was also leaving the station to spend more time with her family and Louise Minchin announced she is quitting BBC 1 Breakfast.

As fans regularly notice when their favourite presenters, like Zoe Ball are missing from their regular slots, we take a look at what is happening to Nicky...

Why is Nicky Campbell leaving BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast?

Nicky Campbell is leaving BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast to present a later show on Radio 5 Live every weekday morning starting in November. So he will be remaining at the station, with fans having to tune in at a later time to hear him on the airwaves.

It was previously announced that Nicky will host a new call-in show on the station from 9am to 11am, while Naga Munchetty and Adrian Chiles’ weekday shows will run from 11am to 1pm, a change to the previous start time of 10am.

Naga anchors the slot from Monday to Wednesday, while Adrian presents the same slot on Thursdays and Fridays.

Nicky, 60, who joined the news and sport network BBC Radio 5 Live back in 1997, when he presented the mid-morning programme on 5 Live for over five years before taking over the breakfast slot from Julian Worricker in January 2003.

He originally co-presented the show with Victoria Derbyshire, with Shelagh Fogarty taking over from Victoria a year later and the duo hosted together until 2011.

Shelagh left the breakfast show in 2011 and in came Rachel to replace her. That's when Nicky's schedule saw him join the programme half an hour later than Rachel - 6.30am as opposed to 6am - and he would continue on his own for an hour at the end for the show's topical events phone-in Your Call.

He also presented an interactive programme called Now You're Talking on the radio and has previously worked at BBC Radio 1.

The changes will make the shows an hour shorter - a long-term plan for the station.

Nicky Campbell

Heidi Dawson, controller of BBC Radio 5 Live, confirmed, “With Rachel and Rick, 5 Live Breakfast will continue to be at the heart of the UK conversation, talking about the stories that matter to our listeners.

“From breaking news to the biggest sport stories, 5 Live Breakfast will set up listeners for the day ahead, keeping them connected and making them smile.”

Fans have praised the move. One wrote, 'Wow that’s a great shout, been with some artists over the years that Rick interviewed and he was always excellent, the bands and singers were always relieved it was him and that it would be an interesting interview, sorry to see the legend @NickyAACampbell go, amazing broadcaster.'

Another listener added, 'For information, he's not leaving, just moving programmes so we'll be treated to more of his wit, brilliant engagement & great guests.'

Who will replace Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio 5 live?

Rick Edwards is replacing Nicky Campbell as breakfast show presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live as the station plans to launch a new-look 5 Live Breakfast show in November.

The TV broadcaster, who is known for presenting T4, daytime quiz show !mpossible, River Hunters and BBC Three’s Free Speech, has worked at the station since 2019.

He is set to host the show alongside Rachel Burden, who has presented the weekday breakfast programme since 2011.

Speaking about taking over from Nicky, Rick admitted he had "big boots to fill."

He said, “When it comes to 5 Live, I’m a long-time listener, first-time breakfast show presenter. I’ve always loved the station’s heady mix of news, sport and free-wheeling conversation.

“I realise I have some big boots to fill – I checked, and Nicky Campbell’s an eye-watering UK12! – but I’m very excited about popping them on and sitting alongside the brilliant Rachel every morning.”

And Nicky has sent his approval, he tweeted, 'Congratulations to Rick. He’s a brilliant broadcaster. Him and @rachelburden gonna be fab.'

Meanwhile, Nicky's former co-host Rachel gave Rick a warm welcome.

She said, “It’s a joy and a privilege to be starting a new chapter on 5 Live Breakfast with Rick. He has a love of sport and a curiosity about the world, which our 5 Live family will love. Plus, he knows a lot about octopuses, which will surely come in handy at some point!”

And fellow BBC colleague Dan Walker, who is starring on Strictly Come Dancing 2021, tweeted, 'Congratulations @rickedwards1 Welcome to the wide awake club.'

Who is Nicky Campbell's wife?

Nicky Campbell is married to Christina Ritchie. The couple tied the knot back in 1997 in Kensington, London and went on to have four daughters Breagha, Lilla, Kirsty and Isla.

Christina used to be a journalist and was previously head of Virgin Radio News.

Speaking about his wife, Nicky previously told The Times, "She had a big hand in restoring my equilibrium. Through her, I learnt that when you really fall in love it is an evolving process. The more I know her the more in love I am."

Nicky recently revealed he was glad to be back at work following a summer break. He tweeted, 'It’s great being back at work on @bbc5live and there’s loads of filming coming up for #longlostfamily which is wonderful. But I do miss the dogs taking me for walks in the Highlands.'

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)