Vanessa Feltz has left her fans in tears as she emotionally announced her exit from BBC Radio 2. The broadcaster has quit her early morning breakfast show after nearly 20 years on air as well as her breakfast gig on BBC Radio London.
She said she had to step down ‘to catch up on a much-needed decade’s deficit of beauty sleep’ and use her ‘energy-boosting shut-eye’ to ‘frolic with her fiancé Ben Ofoedu ‘who irritatingly remains 10 years younger than me.’
“I have something to tell you, and I know you already know that I love you,” Vanessa said on her show on Thursday morning (July 28). Starting to tear up, she said: “Oh I knew I was going to cry but I’m going to try not too… It has been an honour to share the early hours with you,” before continuing on with a heartfelt message to her listeners.
She shared a video of the moment she announced she was leaving on Instagram which she captioned: “Devastated. Farewell to @bbcradio early breakfast.” She will present her last Radio 2 Early Breakfast Show on Friday, July 29. Following a two-week break she will cover Jeremy Vine for two further weeks and bid a final farewell to Radio 2 listeners on Friday August 26.
Fellow BBCR2 star Sara Cox was among the first to respond to Vanessa, writing: ” In bits. What a brilliant farewell speech though I wouldn’t expect anything less. So happy for you & your family that you’re going to get more kip. You’re an outstanding broadcaster, an inspiration and a lovely friend. We’ll miss you Lady V.”
Alan Carr replied: “ Vanessa!!!! We love you so much.” Carol Vorderman penned: “Oh Lady V. This is devastating news for everyone who listens. You will be so missed. BUT what a great and unique life so far. You’ve done it your way and you’ll carry on doing it your way. Love you and admire you so much. The other and far lesser ‘Lady V.'”
BBC Radio 2 also shared the news on social media, writing: “We have some news… After almost 12 years presenting the Radio 2 Early Breakfast show, Vanessa Feltz has decided to turn off her alarm clock and leave Radio 2 in August.” They added: “We’ll miss her lots and wish her all the best in the future.”
And fans of Vanessa, who also regularly appears on This Morning, shared their upset at the news. @mrs_d64 said: “Ah no!! Please don’t leave radio V you’re brilliant!!” @traceyshu64 wrote: “Such a heartfelt amazing speech. Didn’t expect anything less from the lovely @vanessafeltzofficial. Thank you for your wonderful radio show.”
@alisteaggs commented: “A very touching goodbye speech. I’ll miss your cheery voice in the early mornings!” @clairehuess shared: “You gave such a beautiful speech – I’ve never cried in the car before.” @dydy47 replied: “As soon as that first fight back of tears happened, you knew what was coming this show has been part of my life for years…. I wasn’t crying walking the dog this morning! Enjoy your lay-ins & evenings Lady V.” @deebeegee9 added: “That was very emotional listening to telling everyone. You’ll be missed.”
Vanessa began presenting the Radio 2 Early Breakfast Show in January 2011, from 5am-6.30am, which was extended to 4am from January 2021. As well as covering daily news, her shows contained features including Famous Last Words, Jolly Good Fellows, The Feltz Philological Challenge and Early Bird Earworms.
Before taking over the breakfast show, she presented a mid-morning phone-in programme on the station for 10 years, and from 2001 hosted a mid-afternoon phone-in show. In recently released BBC figures, Vaness was one of just three women in the top 10 highest paid on-air talent, with her salary of £400,000-£404,999 putting her in eighth place. Zoe Ball and Fiona Bruce were the other two female hosts to make the top 10 list.
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