Why is Vanessa Feltz leaving BBC Radio 2?

Vanessa Feltz has announced she's leaving BBC Radio after 20 years on air

Why is Vanessa Feltz leaving BBC Radio 2?
(Image credit: Getty)

Wogan House is having another shake up to its presenters but this time fans are asking why is Vanessa Feltz leaving BBC Radio 2?

The popular broadcaster - who recently split from Ben Ofoedu - has decided to hang up her headphones after a radio career spanning 20 years on air and it comes after Steve Wright announced he was leaving Radio 2 and Nicky Campbell announced he was leaving BBC 5 Live.

Fans often ask where their favourite presenters like Zoe Ball are when they're unexpectedly absent from their shows as we look at why Vanessa is leaving BBC radio...

Why is Vanessa Feltz leaving BBC Radio 2?

Vanessa Feltz is leaving BBC Radio 2 to "catch up on a much needed decade's deficit of beauty sleep". She released an official statement announcing her departure, in which she explained, "I have loved every moment with my Radio 2 ‘Early Birds’ and will miss my Lovely Listeners, Jolly Good Fellows and beloved friends and colleagues at Radio 2 with all my heart. However, after almost 12 blissful years, I now need to step down to catch up on a much needed decade’s deficit of beauty sleep!"

She continued, “It’s been an honour and privilege to be the Breakfast voice of BBC Radio London for 20 years and although I’m leaving the show, I’ll continue to expect hugs from my lovely listeners when I see them on the streets of London!

"I will enjoy a dollop of energy-boosting shut-eye to swing from zip-lines with my three effervescent grandchildren and frolic with my fiancé Ben, who irritatingly remains 10 years younger than me!”

Vanessa started presenting Radio 2 Early Breakfast Show back in January 2011 from 5am-6.30am. The show was brought forward to 4am in January 2021 and saw Vanessa  entertain listeners with the news of the day, as well as much loved features including Famous Last Words, Jolly Good Fellows, The Feltz Philological Challenge and Early Bird Earworms.

Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, says: “For almost 12 years, Vanessa has made her live weekday Early Breakfast Show her very own kingdom, and I’d like to thank her wholeheartedly for the thousands of middle-of-the-night starts she’s made to entertain the Radio 2 listeners. On behalf of them, as well as everyone in Wogan House, I’d like to send Lady V our very best wishes for the future.”

Before taking over the breakfast show Vanessa presented a mid-morning phone-in show on the station for 10 years, and from 2001 presented a mid-afternoon phone-in show. And Vanessa has been a regular guest on ITV daytime show This Morning holding phone-ins.

Chris Burns, Controller Local Audio Commissioning, says: “Every weekday Vanessa has breezed straight from her Radio 2 programme into the Radio London breakfast show, barely pausing for breath. She has effortlessly entertained her “lovely listener” and sternly held the city’s and country’s decision makers to account. The brightest spark you could ever meet - no matter how early it is and what’s going on in the news - to say Vanessa’s voice will be missed is an understatement. We wish her well and thank her dearly for her incredible service.”

Who is replacing Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio 2?

Vanessa Feltz will be replaced by Owain Wyn Evans, leaving many asking the question when does Owain start on Radio 2? 

Helen Thomas, Head of Radio 2, said: "I’d like to welcome Owain to the Radio 2 family. His deep connection with Wales is obvious and I’m delighted he will be broadcasting live from Cardiff every weekday morning. His warmth and wit make him the perfect host to set up the day for our listeners right across the country."

How many grandchildren does Vanessa Feltz have?

Vanessa Feltz has three grandchildren - her first grandchild Neroli, then Vanessa announced in 2015 that she had welcomed her second grandchild Zeke - both of whom are her daughter Allegra Kurer's kids. And in 2018 her other daughter Saskia was preparing to give birth to her first child.

Vanessa is looking forward to spending more time with time following her departure from BBC Radio 2 and Radio London.

Vanessa previously admitted, "On the radio, I don’t want to talk about Brexit or the economy. I just want to speak about my grandbabies."

Vanessa has been pictured enjoying a family day out with her daughter and grandchildren Neroli and Zeke at a gala screening of Disney's "Encanto" at the Picturehouse last year.

Why is Vanessa Felt leaving BBC Radio 2?

(Image credit: Getty)

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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!)