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Heart confirms on-air talent for its streamlined set of local drivetime shows

By | Published on Tuesday 21 May 2019


Global Radio has announced details of the new drivetime shows that will launch on its Heart network next month.

The radio firm is utilising a change in UK radio rules to reduce the amount of local programming on its networks. Previously Heart stations had locally made breakfast and drivetime shows. But from 3 Jun there will be one breakfast show nationwide. Local shows will continue in the late afternoon slot, but there will be fewer of them, with Heart outlets in neighbouring regions set to share a drive time programme.

There will be twelve Heart drivetime shows in total, hosted by: JK and Kelly (London), Des Clarke (Scotland), Emil Franchi (North East), Dixie and Emma (Yorkshire), Hannah Clarkson (East), Rich Clarke (South), Ben Atkinson (South West), Adam Weighell (North West), Ed and Gemma (Midlands), Megan Llŷn and Oli Kemp (North Wales), Jagger and Woody (South Wales) and John Darin (Hertfordshire).

Although those presenters will all be fronting new shows with expanded audiences, the axing of local breakfast shows and reduction of local drivetime programmes means that a significant number of other DJs will be exiting the station at the end of the month. Radio Today estimates that Heart’s current presenter roster numbers 90 and it will be more like 20 from 3 Jun. Producers and other staff working on local programming will also depart.

Global would argue that further consolidation (aka cost-cutting) is necessary as the radio industry competes with an ever-increasing number of online music and audio services. Though detractors might counter that local programming is the one thing traditional radio still has over most online platforms.

Either way, Heart Managing Editor James Rea has managed to put a positive spin on all the down-sizing, telling RadioToday: “Heart’s new drivetime shows will provide a burst of freshness across the UK. This morning’s announcement follows the news of Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden hosting a brand-new nationwide Heart Breakfast show which launches on the same day. I feel incredibly proud to be able to unveil a full Heart line-up so that every part of the UK can continue to turn up the feel good!”