Paul O’Grady joins BBC rival after Radio 2 ageism row

Paul O’Grady says emotional farewell to his Radio 2 show

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Presenter Paul O’Grady will soon be joining Boom Radio, making his comeback debut on Easter Sunday alongside Malcolm Prince. The 67-year-old famously left the BBC’s Radio 2 after 14 years of hosting a Sunday show when three iconic DJs were given the boot, which led to a backlash over ageism within the company.

Steve Wright, Andrew Marr, and Tony Blackburn were dismissed from the corporation recently, which sparked outrage from other employees and BBC fans.

According to MailOnline, animal-loving TV personality Paul will be joining the likes of Ken Bruce by moving on to a competitor platform.

On his new venture, he told the publication: “It’s great to be working with the team at Boom again.

“It already feels like my new radio home. My producer Malcolm and I are looking forward to our special TeamPOG show on Easter Sunday – who knows, this could be the start of a regular gig.”

Paul was reportedly upset about having to share duties with 37-year-old Rob Beckett as he previously explained: “I was disappointed because I’m a great believer in continuity.

“If you go off for 13 weeks and somebody else comes on, the listeners don’t know when you’re back on.”

He added to Metro: “Radio 2 has changed, it’s not what it was. They’re trying to aim for a much younger audience, which doesn’t make sense because you’ve got Radio 1 [for that].”

Paul’s final BBC show was in August 2022, which devastated regular listeners who had come to enjoy his broadcasts.

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He announced his decision to part ways with the station last year insisting it was “the right time to go” under the circumstances.

Just last month Ken, 72, also left the station to transfer to Greatest Hits Radio, intensifying the “ageism” row.

Fellow presenter Vanessa Feltz, 61, also left Radio 2 last year and weighed in on the debate.

She stated on ITV’s This Morning: “I would imagine that it’s a feeling of some sense of ageism at the BBC and that once you get over a certain age, your days are numbered.

“You’re not valued in the same way, the music isn’t as appealing because they’ve kind of changed the music of Radio 2 to appeal to the younger audience they’re so desperate to get.”

The station adamantly denied the claims in a statement in which it added the channel “is hugely proud of having a range of presenters from their 30s to 80 years old”.

They added the age range “hasn’t changed in decades” and Ken had been with them since the age of 32.

The statement concluded: “[We] will continue to be a multi-generational radio station that serves a 35-plus audience with listeners tuning in each week to our brilliant range of programmes, hosted by some of the UK’s best-loved presenters.”

Paul O’Grady will be hosting his first Boom Radio show on Easter Sunday.

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