Zoe Ball stands firmly behind Paddy McGuinness amid BBC Radio 2 uproar

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
3 Min Read

BBC Radio 2 presenter Zoe Ball has defended controversial new host Paddy McGuinness amid a wave of fan fury over his appointment.

Following Radio 2’s bombshell announcement of McGuinness’ upcoming Sunday morning slot, listeners took to social media to express their disappointment. Furthermore, some are even threatening to boycott the station. One disgruntled user on X, formerly Twitter, exclaimed, “Paddy McGuinness… seriously?? That’s another Radio 2 program I’ll be switching off,” echoing the sentiments of many others who found his selection puzzling and off-putting.

Another critic remarked, “Paddy McGuinness was so bad covering for Sara Cox that I turned the radio off. Absolutely mad to give him his own show,” while a third warned, “Paddy McGuinness will now decimate Radio 2.”

Despite the backlash, Zoe Ball broke her silence on the matter, warmly welcoming McGuinness to the Radio 2 family. Ball shared a promotional BBC photo of McGuinness on her social media stories, captioned it, “Welcome. Bolton Massive,” indicating her support for the comedian’s new role.

McGuiness was welcomed by other hosts, but not so much by Radio 2 fans

McGuinness, who first appeared on Radio 2 last year covering the pop quiz ‘Ten To The Top’, has been sitting in for Rylan Clark on Saturday afternoons. The Bolton-born presenter also hosted two shows over the Easter weekend. Despite the controversy surrounding his appointment, McGuinness expressed his excitement at the opportunity, stating, “To be given my very own regular show on the legendary Radio 2 is a dream come true.”

While some listeners remain sceptical of Paddy McGuinness’ abilities as a radio host, others have rallied behind him, citing his comedic charm and entertainment value. DJ Spoony, another Radio 2 broadcaster, offered his support, declaring, “Go on, son! Proper broadcaster now,”.

However, McGuinness’ tenure at the BBC has not been without its challenges. His involvement in various programs, including the ill-fated revamp of ‘Question of Sport’ and the indefinite hiatus of ‘Top Gear’, has led some to label him as the “kiss of death” for television and radio shows alike.

Despite the criticism, Paddy McGuinness remains undeterred, defending his appearances on platforms like Question Time, where viewers questioned his political credentials. Addressing the backlash, McGuinness emphasised the importance of representing his working-class roots. He said, “Being working class, people look at you as the place you are from, as you still speak like them… If I hadn’t have done it then you’re not getting people’s voice across.”

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