Radio entertainment and showbiz

Emma Barnett steps down from Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour to host Today

BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour host Emma Barnett is stepping down from the show to present the Today programme.

This follows the current host Martha Kearney announcing last month that she is stepping down from the role.

Today is the BBC’s flagship morning radio programme and is the most listened-to breakfast radio news programme in the UK. Emma joins the team from May and will also front TV documentaries and cross platform news-making interviews for the BBC.

Emma Barnett says: “We are living in volatile times where sometimes even asking a question can seem risky – wrongly so. My ambition on the Today programme is to keep asking the questions that listeners want answers to – as well as raising many smiles along the way – while armed with a very strong cup of tea.

“I am delighted to be joining a programme that occupies such a unique space in British life and to also have the opportunity to expand my work across BBC TV and News.

“My time on Woman’s Hour means a great deal to me and I want to thank the team and our mighty army of listeners for how much we have shared – the joy, wisdom, sorrow and sometimes sheer rage. I will carry so many of those moments with me for the rest of my life – chief amongst them conducting Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s first interview after her long-awaited release from prison in Iran; making a rare and special conversation happen with Kate Bush and reflecting the overwhelming response to the rape, abduction and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer.

“I will greatly miss being within the rare and unique space Woman’s Hour provides, where most days anything can happen and routinely does. All power to the next person gifted the opportunity.”

Award-winning journalist Emma joined Women’s Hour in 2021. She previously hosted a BBC Radio 5 Live programme and was part of the presenting line up of Newsnight.

Woman’s Hour will be recruiting a new presenter for the programme for when Emma leaves in April. BBC Radio 4 is inviting expressions of interest from experienced live broadcasters who have strong journalistic credentials, warmth and gravitas to lead the programme.

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