Radio entertainment and showbiz

Line-Up for Times Radio revealed ahead of launch

The line-up for Times Radio will include Aasmah Mir, Stig Abell, Luke Jones, Jenny Kleeman, Matt Chorley and Cathy Newman.

The new national DAB station will launch this summer, advert-free and financed by The Times newspaper.

Monday to Thursday breakfast will be hosted by recently departed BBC Radio 4 presenter Aasmah Mir, along with the station’s programme director Stig Abell.

The Friday to Sunday breakfast show will be presented by Luke Jones, also previously with Radio 4, and journalist, author and documentary-maker Jenny Kleeman.

Times Red Box editor Matt Chorley will host the mid-morning show, with political guests and commentators.

John Pienaar will host the Monday to Thursday Drivetime show, as reported last February and Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman will host the Friday show.

Aasmah Mir co-presenter at breakfast, Monday to Thursday, said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Times Radio to co-host the Breakfast Show with Stig. The Times is a byword for quality journalism and this is an enviable opportunity to create compelling radio from scratch. Our listeners will be just like me – I want to be informed but I want warmth too and a programme fit for 2020. I am genuinely excited. This is the programme I have been wanting to wake up to for years.”

Stig Abell, co-presenter at breakfast, Monday to Thursday, added: “It’s an enormous privilege to be co-hosting at breakfast on Times Radio. And even better to be doing it with a broadcaster of the calibre of Aasmah Mir. Our agenda will be straightforward: provide provocative, well-informed, entertaining and useful discussion on the key stories of the day, informing the national conversation.”

Luke Jones, co-presenter at breakfast, Friday to Sunday, said: “This station is exactly what I’ve been missing in my listening life. The Times and The Sunday Times have always been my go-to papers. Their journalists are ferociously and charmingly intelligent. I can’t wait to share them with you in your car and bath.”

Jenny Kleeman, co-presenter at breakfast, Friday to Sunday, said: “There has never been a better time to create a trusted, warm and engaging alternative in national speech radio. I can’t wait to get started.”

Matt Chorley, Times Red Box editor and presenter of the morning show, said: “Having spent the last few years unpicking politics for the greatest newspaper in the world, I can’t wait to get started doing the same on the most exciting new radio station in the world, taking listeners behind the scenes to explain how Westminster works with the best guests and features. When my school reports said ‘shares his ideas readily with others’ they made constantly talking sound like a bad thing. Now, amazingly, I seem to have turned it into a job. This is not normal.”

Cathy Newman, presenter of the Friday drive time show, said: “I’m thrilled to be a part of this really exciting, ambitious project launched by one of the country’s most respected newspapers. I look forward to quizzing politicians, chewing over the week’s news and attempting to set the world to rights every Friday evening. And, in the middle of the biggest story in living memory, the questions which need asking are more pressing than ever. I can’t wait to get started – and get some answers.”

More presenter names will be announced in the weeks to come, but there are unconfirmed reports that Mariella Frostrup, Phil Williams and Carole Walker will be on the schedule.

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