The Radio 2 Drivetime show with Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley is to end after just a few months on air.
Mayo is leaving BBC Radio 2 altogether but will continue to present his 5 Live film show with Mark Kermode.
Whiley will remain on the station but move to the 7-9pm slot, which means Drive will get a brand new presenter.
Mayo has fronted Drivetime for eight years, but the station added Whiley as a co-host in May – a move which led to a huge backlash from listeners.
BBC News understands Mayo will not be moving to a rival broadcaster, despite some media reports suggesting he was leaving to host a breakfast show on a commercial station.
Whiley’s addition to Drivetime came after Radio 2 was criticised for its lack of female presenters.
Mayo wrote on Twitter on Monday morning: “I’ll continue with the (flagship) film show on 5 Live with Mark Kermode and, beyond that, other radio adventures beckon!
“But for now it’s just the sadness of leaving. Radio 2 has been a wonderful place for me – my happiest radio I think. Our listeners are really quite extraordinary.”
He added: “Maybe it needs to be said, maybe not but so there is no room for argument I’ll be clear.
“I’ve loved working with the exceptional Jo Whiley and when the show was ‘reconfigured ‘ she was my first and only choice.
“Some of the abuse she has had here has been appalling. Support for a show is one thing, assaulting the dignity of a warm-hearted and loyal friend is another.
“So by all means discuss what’s happening here, but let’s keep some civility. Thank you. Here endeth the lesson.”
Jo Whiley said: “I’m incredibly sad that Simon has decided to leave Radio 2. He’s a brilliant broadcaster, a great friend and I really will miss working with him.
“However, I’m very much looking forward to hosting a new show for a new year which will have music at the very heart of it as well as guests and live sessions. Dream show, actually. Can’t wait!”
Whiley’s new 7-9pm weekday show will see Radio 2’s evening specialist shows move slots.
A Radio 2 spokesperson said: “The Cerys Matthews Blues Show (Mon), Jamie Cullum (Tues), The Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe (Weds) and Bob Harris Country (Thurs) will all move from 8pm-9pm to 9pm-10pm.
“Radio 2 remains committed to featuring the broadcast range of music across the network.”
They added that announcements about shows currently in the 9pm-10pm slot would be made in due course.
Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2 said: “Simon is a fantastic broadcaster, and I’d like to thank him for entertaining millions of Radio 2 listeners with his wit and warmth over the years.
“With Simon leaving, we’ve taken this opportunity to take a fresh look at the schedule, and create a show for Jo which will focus on her passion for music.”
The new look Drivetime show, which was announced in January, left a lot of listeners feeling disappointed.
So much so, that Radio 2 had to offer an official response to complaints.
“We acknowledge some regular listeners are unhappy with the changes,” Radio 2 said at the time.
“Every new show needs time to settle down and so we hope listeners will continue to listen and give it a chance.”
It has not yet been announced who will take over the drive show, but this will be yet another shake-up to the daytime schedule on Radio 2.
- Zoe Ball to present Radio 2 Breakfast Show
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- Chris Evans to leave Radio 2 for Virgin
Earlier this month, Zoe Ball was confirmed as the new breakfast presenter, after Chris Evans revealed he was leaving.
The 47-year-old will become the first female breakfast presenter and could perhaps pave the way for more women to join the daytime line-up.
Mayo has been a part of the Radio 2 schedule since 2001 – he started as the presenter of the Album Chart Show.
He then began presenting the station’s Drivetime show from January 2010, leaving the afternoon show he presented on 5 Live at the time.
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