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Gambaccini replaces Blackburn on Radio 2

Do Not UseDo Not Use 24/05/2016
Paul Gambaccini © BBC Paul Gambaccini

Paul Gambaccini has been announced as the new presenter of Pick of the Pops on BBC Radio 2, replacing Tony Blackburn.

Fearne Cotton, Martin Kemp: Fearne Cotton and Martin Kemp's show will be interactive and give listeners a chance to meet their hero on air © BBC Fearne Cotton and Martin Kemp's show will be interactive and give listeners a chance to meet their hero on air

Gambaccini said he was "honoured to be asked to present one of Britain's iconic radio programmes".

"I will strive to meet the standards of my illustrious predecessors including Alan Freeman and Tony Blackburn."

Blackburn was sacked in February because of a dispute over his evidence to the Jimmy Savile sex abuse inquiry.

Gambaccini currently presents America's Greatest Hits on Radio 2 on Saturday nights.

The DJ returned to broadcasting in November after being on bail for a year over alleged historical sex offences as part of Operation Yewtree. He strenuously denied the claims and no action was taken by police.

Gambaccini wrote a memoir about the period and said he had suffered "12 months of trauma".

After the news was announced, Blackburn tweeted his sadness at having "lost a show I loved, but I wish Paul well".

Elsewhere on Radio 2, it was also announced Fearne Cotton and Martin Kemp will team up to fill in for Graham Norton when he takes his summer break.

Their new live show, which will have two celebrity guests each week, will run from 9 July until 10 September.

It is a return to radio for Cotton who left Radio 1 in May last year.

She said she "can't wait to get back on the radio, so to be presenting on Radio 2 this summer on Saturday mornings with Martin Kemp is going to be absolutely brilliant".

This summer will also see Trevor Nelson move from his usual Wednesday evening slot to a new two hour Saturday evening show from 20:00-22:00.

Nelson said listeners to his soul show had been asking him "for years" if it could be extended.

"So I'm very happy that every Saturday night for two hours I can play my favourite soulful tracks to make Saturday night in, the new Saturday night out. I couldn't pick a more perfect slot."

Other changes include Fern Britton filling in for Clare Balding when she heads to the Olympic Games in Rio.

A drive time special show on 30 May will feature actor Bill Nighy reunited with records from his precious collection that were lost in a house flood.

And the Queen's 90th birthday will be celebrated in a special programme on 12 June which will celebrate her life through music.

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