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Helen Thomas named BBC Radio 2’s new Head Of Station

By | Published on Wednesday 13 May 2020

Helen Thomas

The BBC has announced Helen Thomas as the new Head Of Station at Radio 2. The appointment follows Controller Of Pop Lorna Clarke’s announcement of a big management rejig at the broadcaster’s pop stations earlier this year.

“Whilst there were many impressive candidates, Helen demonstrated a fresh and clear vision for taking Radio 2 to the next level”, says Clarke. “I’m looking forward to working with her in this new role”.

Thomas herself adds: “I’m THRILLED to take on this new role as Radio 2 is the greatest radio station in the world bar none. To be able to seamlessly commemorate VE Day one week and then celebrate Eurovision the next is testament to the skill and talent of our dedicated and passionate presenters as well as our world class production teams – they are the very best in the business”.

“The way the audience has responded to their extraordinary efforts over the last few months has proved what a deep connection people right across the UK have with the station”, she goes on. “It’s an honour and a privilege to lead Radio 2 through its next exciting chapter”.

Smith has already held a number of roles at Radio 2 and BBC Radio more widely. She began her career working in news for 5 Live, Radio 4 and Radio 1, before working on music programming for the World Service and then producing Radio 4’s ‘Front Row’.

She moved to Radio 2 in 2003, where she produced Johnnie Walker’s drivetime show, followed by Chris Evans’ show in the same slot and then his breakfast show. More recently, she worked as the station’s Network Editor and, since 2018, has been its Head Of Content Commissioning.

In March this year, Lorna Clarke announced a rejig of the way the BBC’s pop stations are run, creating new Head Of Station roles at Radio 1, Radio 2, 1Xtra, 6 Music and the Asian Network.

That move followed some big departures at the top of the BBC’s music stations. Radio 1 and 1Xtra Controller Ben Cooper announced he was leaving last October. Then in February, Radio 2’s de-facto chief Lewis Carnie confirmed his departure too.

The rejig means that each of the pop-centric stations will have a similar leadership structure. Various previous revamps at the Beeb meant there were inconsistencies between the stations, with Cooper being more senior than his counterparts at Radio 2 and 6 Music.

The search for new heads of Radio 1, 6 Music, Radio 1Xtra and the Asian Network is ongoing.