Zoe Ball favourite to take over from Chris Evans on Radio 2

Zoe Ball has been named favourite to step into Chris Evans’ shoes as the new host of the Radio 2 breakfast show.

Other names who could be in the frame include Sara Cox, Simon Mayo and Dermot O’Leary.

Radio 2, which has come under criticism for its male-heavy daytime line-up, has plenty of time to make a choice with the broadcaster continuing his run until December.

Here is a look at the early contenders:

Zoe Ball – 4/7

Zoe Ball interview
Presenter Zoe Ball could become the voice of the Radio 2 breakfast show (Ian West/PA)

Ball was the first solo female Radio 1 breakfast show host.

She was at the forefront of the “ladette culture” that swept through broadcasting because of her hard-drinking party lifestyle.

Her TV jobs include host of the BBC spin-off show Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.

Flippin eck. CHRIS EVANS. You absolute legend. Always been such an inspiration, all learnt so much from you. Proper shocker on a Monday morning. You will be most missed Mr. Big big ❤️ https://t.co/oJle1MDsyV

— Zoe Ball (@ZoeTheBall) September 3, 2018

She recently made a programme for Sport Relief following the loss of her partner, Billy Yates, who was found dead at his home at the age of 40.

She cycled more than 350 miles over five days, from Blackpool to Brighton, raising more than £500,000 as part of the programme.

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

Ball is favourite to replace Evans, according to bookmaker William Hill.

Sara Cox – 6/4 

Sara Cox
Sara Cox (Ian West/PA)

Cox, another former “ladette”, hosted the Radio 1 breakfast show between 2000 and 2003.

She currently hosts a show on BBC Radio 2 and is also known for TV programmes like The Great Pottery Throw Down and Love In The Countryside.

Jo Whiley – 6/1

Brit Awards 2017 – Press Room – London
Jo Whiley in the press room during the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena (Ian West/PA)

A familiar voice on Radio 2, Whiley currently co-hosts the drivetime show on the station.

She presented the long-running Jo Whiley Show on Radio 1 and bookmakers believe she could take a lead role in morning broadcasting.

Simon Mayo – 8/1

Simon Mayo
Simon Mayo (Ian West/PA)

Mayo currently hosts a revamped drive time show on Radio 2 with Whiley.

Some listeners said they were unhappy with the changes to the drivetime show.

Thousands of fans signed a petition asking the BBC to bring back the old programme, which Mayo hosted alone.

Dermot O’Leary – 12/1

Dermot O' Leary
Dermot O’Leary (Victoria Jones/PA)

The X Factor presenter hosts the Saturday morning breakfast show on Radio 2.

Bookmakers believe a female presenter is the likely replacement for Evans.

But, with the latest series of The X Factor kicking off with just under six million viewers, the weekday breakfast show role could be attractive.