Zoe Ball responds to backlash around Paddy McGuinness getting new BBC Radio 2 show

BBC Radio 2 presenter Zoe Ball has broken her silence after fans reacted furiously to the news Paddy McGuinness has been given a new show on the station.

Taking to her stories, the weekday breakfast show star warmly welcomed McGuinness to the fold by sharing a promotional BBC photo of him, which she captioned: “Welcome. Bolton Massive.”

From June, McGuinness, 50, will take over the 11am until 1pm slot on Sundays previously held by Michael Ball, amid a major scheduling shake up.

The former Top Gear star first presented on Radio 2 last year when covering the pop quiz Ten To The Top while Vernon Kay was fundraising for Children In Need.

Zoe Ball shared her support for Paddy McGuinness joining BBC Radio 2 on Instagram (Instagram @zoetheball)
Zoe Ball shared her support for Paddy McGuinness joining BBC Radio 2 on Instagram (Instagram @zoetheball)

He has recently been sitting in for Rylan Clark on Saturday afternoons, and presented two shows over the Easter weekend.

While Radio 2 bosses say the dad-of-three made a “huge impression”, many listeners were not convinced.

Recent presenter shake-ups and fall-outs have seen Radio 2 drop almost a million listeners in the last year - most notably the departure of Ken Bruce, and the replacement of Steve Wright with Radio 1's Scott Mills in the weekday afternoon slot.

Adding to their fears, a number of shows McGuinness has fronted have been axed or put in hold including the most recent reboots of Top Gear and A Question of Sport and music challenge I Can See Your Voice.

Some unimpressed fans took to social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, to vent their frustration at the appointment.

“Paddy McGuinness... seriously?? That's another radio 2 programme I'll be switching off,” wrote one person.

“Paddy McGuinness was so bad covering for Sara Cox that I turned the radio off. Absolutely mad to give him his own show,” penned a second.

While a third warned: “Paddy McGuinness will now decimate Radio 2”.

Not everyone was opposed to the idea of him becoming a regular on the airwaves however.

Responding to McGuinness sharing the news on his own social media, one person said they had even considered starting a petition to get him his own show before fate intervened.

“This is amazing news I was thinking of a petition for you to get your own show. I never laughed so much at the worst jobs ever and you play the best music too. So pleased for you,” one fan enthused.

“Chuffed, loved hearing you on my favourite radio station. Good luck Paddy,” agreed another.

While fellow Radio 2 broadcaster DJ Spoony also offered his support, writing: “Go on son! Proper broadcaster now,” followed by a heart-eyes emoji.

The Standard contacted a representative for BBC Radio 2 who declined to comment.