Sunday 26 May 2019

Ball to take over Evans's radio slot but BBC won't pay her same

Thrilled: Zoe Ball will be the first woman to host the Breakfast show. Photo: PA
Thrilled: Zoe Ball will be the first woman to host the Breakfast show. Photo: PA

Helena Horton

Zoe Ball has announced she will not be paid the same salary as Chris Evans as she takes over from him for the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show.

Ball (47) said she was "very happy" with what the BBC offered her, despite it being lower than Evans's staggering £1.6m (€1.8m) annual pay.

The presenter, who will be the first ever female Radio 2 Breakfast host, earned between £250,000 (€280,000) and £299,000 (€337,000) for her various work at the BBC last year. However, she hinted that she has been given a pay rise.

Addressing her salary, she told the BBC: "I'm definitely not expecting the same. But I have to say we've discussed fees and I'm very, very happy with what the BBC are paying. If it'll all come out one day as these things tend to, I hope people say, that's fair."

The announcement that Ball would take the reins was made on Evans's show yesterday morning, as she joined him in the studio as a surprise guest.

She said: "This is bonkers, can I just say. I'm a crazy mix of elation, wanting to burst into tears, thinking of running away, but most of all thrilled. I haven't been able to sleep all night."

Evans congratulated his replacement, telling her she "lights up the radio".

Although Ball was once known for her raucous partying lifestyle as she made her name in radio, her life has changed dramatically in recent years.

She celebrated two years of sobriety in July, and said yesterday that being awake at the crack of dawn was a very different experience for her now.

The presenter said: "I'll be expecting a peppermint tea. Things are very different 20 years on to the lifestyle that I led, I'm a busy working mum now. Peppermint tea and a slice of cake, a fried egg sandwich. That's the way I want to celebrate."

Ball was the clear favourite to take over the show - as the first solo female Radio 1 breakfast show host, she is no stranger to smashing the glass ceiling.

She has also stepped in for Evans on the breakfast show before, and hosts a live Saturday afternoon show on Radio 2.

Irish Independent

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