Claudia Winkleman feels ‘sick’ about taking over from Graham Norton on Radio 2.
The presenter, 49, has revealed her nerves about taking over the coveted slot, and admitted she thought the job offer was a hoax.
‘I might be sick. Not in a bad way, but out of nerves. I hope I don’t let everybody down,’ she told the latest edition of Radio Times.
Nervous: Claudia Winkleman feels ‘sick’ about taking over from Graham Norton on Radio 2
Strictly presenter Claudia went on: ‘I mean, when the main boss called me and offered it to me, I thought it was a practical joke, and put the phone down.
‘And then about half an hour later, I thought, “Maybe I should call back? Maybe it was real? I don’t know!”
‘She had to call me back. So it’s scary because I’m following somebody who’s utterly brilliant, and if it’s terrible, then I’ll leave.’
Claudia was announced as Graham’s replacement for the Saturday morning 10am and 1pm slot back in November. She will start in February.
Interview: The presenter, 49, has revealed her nerves about taking over the coveted slot, and admitted she thought the job offer was a hoax. ‘I might be sick. Not in a bad way, but out of nerves. I hope I don’t let everybody down,’ she told the latest edition of Radio Times
Exciting: Claudia is set to replace Graham Norton as host of BBC Radio 2’s Saturday morning show as star said on Monday she was ‘gobsmacked’ about getting role
Claudia said in a statement: ‘I’m not often speechless but the chance to be with the wonderful Radio 2 listeners every Saturday has left me, quite frankly, gobsmacked.
‘I hope my voice comes back in time for the first show as I can no longer simply rely on a fake tan and a fringe. There’s nobody I’d rather be with at the weekend, it’s a privilege and an honour.’
Sharing another post detailing how she felt about the news, Claudia said she was ‘thrilled’ and ‘terrified’, as she joked ‘enormous shoes to fill. Send socks.’
Graham hosted the show for 10 years, and wrapped his final broadcast in December.
He has now joined Virgin Radio UK, hosting a new show on Saturdays and Sundays with them.
Time to move on: Graham has hosted the slot for 10 years, and is set to depart the position in December to host a weekend slot with Virgin Radio UK
Soon: Claudia was announced as Graham’s replacement for the Saturday morning 10am and 1pm slot back in November. She will start in February
When he announced the departure from Radio 2, he said: ‘I was very content where I was but the opportunity to host shows across the weekend seemed too good to miss out on.
‘Plus the energy and enthusiasm at Virgin Radio are infectious and I can’t wait to get started! Did I mention the studios are very close to my house?’
Claudia has long been a BBC mainstay – and returns to front Celebrity Best Home Cook on BBC One this week, alongside Mary Berry, this time with a pandemic-friendly twist.
‘I haven’t watched the show, and I can’t watch myself, because I’ll actually eat my own hair, so I’ve got no idea what it looks like,’ she said of the fact that the judges, contestants and her, on hosting duties, have had to film the series while socially-distanced.
New guard: Graham announced he would be joining Virgin Radio UK for a new flagship show after revealing his decision to depart BBC Radio 2
This series has had a celebrity spin to it, rather than the regular version of the show.
‘The fascinating thing about the celebrities – and I hope celebrities as a whole don’t take offence – is that they could really cook. All of them.
‘One of them made a kedgeree. Mary will tell you – I openly wept, it was so delicious.’
Of lockdown, Claudia shared: ‘I would never ever complain, because people are having a terrible time. My mum always told me, “When you’re lucky, if you don’t know you’re lucky, you don’t quite deserve to be lucky.”
On the cover: Claudia and Mary’s joint interview can be read in this week’s Radio Times
‘So we feel lucky that [my family are] together, and that we’ve got a park next door. We don’t have a garden, but weirdly, after 15 years of living here, we’ve rediscovered the park. We became obsessed by our little family walk.’
She admitted to struggling with homeschooling, however.
‘I’m a very, very bad home-school teacher. I can officially say that out loud. I am useless. I mean, with a 17-year-old, with a 14-year-old, and especially with a nine-year-old,’ she declared. ‘The only thing I really say is “ask Dad”. I don’t know how I passed school. I don’t understand any of this.
‘I can talk about Rembrandt, but of course none of them want to talk about that!’
Of the pandemic on the whole, she mused: ‘We all collectively work out who are the important people in our society.
‘It’s stuff I feel like we’ve always known, but this has cemented it, like frontline workers, and nurses, and rubbish collectors, and all those extraordinary people.’