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Simon Mayo joins new classical station

Former BBC Radio 2 DJ Simon Mayo is to lead the line-up on a new classical music radio station.

Mayo, who left his Radio 2 drivetime show just before Christmas, will host a mid-morning show on Scala Radio when it launches on 4 March.

The station will hope to win listeners from BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM.

Mayo said the digital station would be different to its rivals because “we’re going all out to entertain, laugh with the listeners and have a good time”.

The station’s owners Bauer Media said Mayo’s new show would include celebrity interviews, listener interaction and a classical version of the long-running Confessions feature from his Radio 1 and Radio 2 days.

“There are hundreds of radio stations playing rock and pop, and only two classical music stations up until now,” Mayo said.

“We’re different because we’re going all out to entertain, laugh with the listeners, and have a good time. Some of it will be familiar, some new and exciting but all timeless, beautiful and all absolutely relevant to today”.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Angellica Bell will host a weekend show

Mayo presented Radio 2’s drivetime slot for eight years, co-presenting with Jo Whiley for the final seven months.

But their show was scrapped after a backlash from listeners, with Whiley moving back to evenings and Sara Cox taking over drivetime.

Mayo will continue to co-host his BBC Radio 5 Live’s Friday film show with Mark Kermode – and Kermode has also been given his own slot playing film scores on Scala Radio.

Angellica Bell and Chris Rogers will host weekend shows, while DJs Goldie and William Orbit will front their own series.

The Scala line-up will also feature Charles Nove, Mark Forrest, Sam Hughes and Jamie Crick.

The launch comes amid resurgent interest in classical music – it was the fastest-growing musical genre in 2018, with sales and streams up 10% on the previous year.

Scala will replace Heat Radio in Bauer’s portfolio of national DAB stations after the company said Heat would become an online-only station with no presenters.

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Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-46947959

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