Why has Paul O'Grady quit BBC Radio 2? His departure announced after 14 years at the station

If you're wondering why has Paul O'Grady quit BBC Radio 2 you're probably not the only one after over a decade hosting the Sunday afternoon slot...

Why has Paul O'Grady quit BBC Radio 2? Seen here attending the opening night drinks reception for the English National Ballet's "Song Of The Earth / La Sylphide"
(Image credit: Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

“Why has Paul O’Grady quit BBC Radio 2?” might well be the question on long-time listeners' minds as the news broke that his final afternoon show is just a few days away.

BBC Radio 2 might be one of the most prominent stations around, but in recent weeks several of their biggest stars have announced the time has come for them to hang up their legendary headphones. This has raised plenty of questions as devoted fans were left wondering why Vanessa Feltz is leaving BBC Radio 2, why Steve Wright is leaving the afternoon slot and when does Owain Wyn Evans start on Radio 2. The news of their departures comes after BBC Radio 2 previously introduced a 13-week on and 13-week off schedule for its radio presenters. 

Now just six months after listeners wondered where Paul O’Grady was as he took a temporary break from his regular Sunday afternoon slot as a result of the shake-up, the popular host has confirmed he will soon be leaving BBC Radio 2 for good…

BBC Radio 2 has since paid tribute to Paul O'Grady, who died aged 67. Paul O'Grady's husband Andre Portasio shared the news of his 'unexpected but peaceful' passing.

Paul O'Grady attends the Opening Night performance of the English National Ballet's "Cinderella"

(Image credit: Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Why has Paul O’Grady quit BBC Radio 2?

After 14 years at the station and having hosted his Paul O’Grady On the Wireless show since 2009, the entertainment icon has announced he will be leaving BBC Radio 2 within a matter of days. As reported by the BBC, Radio 2 confirmed the sad news on August 9th as they revealed that the unexpected decision was Paul’s. 

And when it comes to why Paul O’Grady quit BBC Radio 2, the presenter disclosed that he felt it was the “right time” after such an illustrious radio career with the station. 

“I’ve loved doing my Sunday afternoon show for the last 14 years and I’m going to miss my listeners as well as the fun I’ve had with my producer Malcolm Prince, but I feel that now is the right time to go,” he announced in a statement. 

He will be dearly missed by long-time listeners as well as the station, with Head of Radio 2, Helen Thomas, expressing her hope that the station might one day work with Paul again.

“I’d like to thank Paul for so many years of his brilliant Sunday afternoon show,” she shared. “I’m sorry to see him go, but I wish Paul the very best of luck for the future and hope to work with him again as the door is always open to him here at Radio 2.”

Whether or not Paul will go on to explain further details behind his reason for quitting BBC Radio 2 remains to be seen. Though after almost two decades at the station, his decision that it was simply the “right time” to move on is perhaps completely understandable.  

When is Paul O’Grady’s final BBC Radio 2 show?

Unfortunately for loyal listeners, Paul O’Grady’s final show on BBC Radio 2 is set to air on Sunday 14th August as he comes to the end of his current 13 week of shows. His first show in this particular time slot was back in 2009 and whilst his final one will be tinged with sadness, it will be including all the regular features. 

Fans can look forward to a Thank You Letter of the Week, a Lost TV Theme and an unexpected playlist as well as the producer Malcolm picking an unsuitable song for a wedding anniversary and even a special cocktail recipe. 

Paul O'Grady seen at the ITV Studios on April 3, 2018

(Image credit: Photo by HGL/GC Images via Getty)

From Sunday 21st August, comedian Rob Beckett will return to Sunday afternoons for his next 13 week run of shows. And unlike radio fans who’ve discovered who is replacing Scott Mills on Radio 1 already, the BBC have confirmed that future plans for Paul O’Grady’s slot will be “announced at a later date”.

Until then, BBC Radio 2 listeners can look forward to one spectacular final show from Paul O’Grady as they wait to hear what projects he might move on to next.

Emma Shacklock
Senior Lifestyle Writer

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.