Jane Garvey ‘seething’ at home as Emma Barnett took over Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour

Jane Garvey discusses lewd images on Radio 4

Jane Garvey began presenting Woman’s Hour on Radio 4 in 2007 and has spoken about the hurdles she had to overcome at the helm of the show. Revealing it took six years to get a computer in the studio, Jane admitted she had to resist temptation to comfort eat when she heard new host Emma Barnett had received a letter from the Queen.

Jane stepped down as host of Woman’s Hour last year with Emma moving from her mid-morning 5Live show to take over as presenter.

Emma began her first show last week by revealing she’d received a letter from Her Majesty, which left former host Jane stunned.

Reflecting on the moment she first heard her replacement on air, Jane told Radio Times: “Emma Barnett’s tenure started with a message from the Queen: “…on Windsor Castle headed notepaper”, as I sat seething at home, arguing with a teenager about a malfunctioning printer.

“Terrific. Thirteen years on that beat and I never once heard a word from Her Maj.

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“I resisted the temptation to dive straight into the biscuit barrel in despair, but only just.”

Jane explained she was “made about as welcome as a woman who arrives in a remote village and immediately assumes control of the WI” by listeners when she first took over Woman’s Hour 14 years ago.

She added she “bundled in” ready to make her mark and interact with listeners and over time, she saw a change.

Jane went on to explain her time on Woman’s Hour allowed her to learn so much more than she expected.

“Not least that my job there was often to allow our guests to shine, not to undermine them or trip them up,” she told the publication.

Eventually after 10 years at the helm, Jane felt she had been “accepted” by dedicated Radio 4 listeners.

However, she has warned that if Emma lands more big interviews, it will have an affect on her weight.

“If you manage to get Michelle Obama, Oprah, the Duchess of Sussex and Joan of Arc in your first fortnight, I’ll be well over 20 stone by May,” she told Emma.

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Jane announced she would be stepping down from Woman’s Hour just weeks after Dame Jenni Murray revealed she too was leaving.

She said at the time: “It has been a real privilege to play a small part in the history of this very special radio programme.

“On one unforgettable day, I interviewed David Cameron in the morning and Mary J Blige in the afternoon. There’s no other job like it.

“But famous people are not the reason people engage with Woman’s Hour.

Read the full interview with Jane Garvey in this week’s issue of Radio Times [RADIO TIMES]

“It is because the programme still talks about the subjects and challenges no one else goes near.

“I’m very proud of our relationship with the audience and the trust they place in us.”

Woman’s Hour airs daily on BBC Radio 4 at 10am.

Read the full interview with Jane Garvey in this week’s issue of Radio Times, out now.

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