BBC Radio Leeds has announced three new additions to its presenting line up during the summer. Radio presenter Stephanie Hirst, pop singer and West End star Gareth Gates, and the former Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland, will be standing in for various presenters during August and September.
From Monday 7 – Wednesday 23 August, Stephanie Hirst will be on the Mid-Morning show, from 9am-12pm. This is Stephanie’s first return to the airwaves in West Yorkshire since leaving Capital FM’s breakfast show, ‘Hirsty’s Daily Dose’, in 2014.
Bradford’s Gareth Gates, who found fame on Pop Idol and is now a star of musical theatre, will try his hand at radio presenting for the first time by taking the helm on Bank Holiday Monday, 28 August, from 4-6pm. In his show he will feature the music that has shaped his life and the local musicians that have influenced his own career.
From Tuesday 29 August – Friday 1 September, former MP Greg Mulholland stands in for Andrew Edwards on the Big Yorkshire Phone-In, between midday and 3pm. Hot on the heels of Ed Miliband and Iain Duncan-Smith who both presented on BBC Radio 2, the former Leeds North West MP will experience life on the other side of the microphone.
Sanjiv Buttoo, Editor of BBC Radio Leeds, said: “It’s a really busy summer as we welcome three new – but very familiar – faces to our daytime line up that are already hugely popular in the region.
“We’re proud to welcome Stephanie Hirst on her long awaited return back to the airwaves of West Yorkshire, Gareth Gates is really looking forward to trying his hand at presenting his first ever radio show, and we can’t wait to hear Greg Mulholland grill a few politicians on the Big Yorkshire Phone instead of in his usual parliamentary setting.”
Stephanie Hirst said: “After waking up Yorkshire for over well over a decade I can’t wait to be back on the air looking after Richard Stead’s show, who I’ve known for over 20 years! I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the mic broadcasting to the greatest county on earth!”
Gareth Gates said: “I’m thrilled to be hosting my own show on BBC Radio Leeds! For two hours, I will take over the airwaves and play some of the music that influenced me and my career… tune in and have a listen!”
Greg Mulholland said: “I am hugely excited and honoured to guest present on BBC Radio Leeds. I’ve appeared on the station as a Leeds Councillor and MP and I’m now looking forward to swapping chairs. After spending 14 years as an elected representative speaking up for Leeds and Yorkshire, I am looking forward to letting other people have their say.”
West Yorkshire Playhouse and BBC Radio Leeds have collaborated to present Partition, a unique radio broadcast and live performance marking the 70th anniversary of the division of India and creation of Pakistan. This specially commissioned radio play, by writer and BBC Radio Leeds presenter Nick Ahad, explores the devastating legacy of a religious division which cost around a million lives. It will be broadcast at midnight between Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 August, with performances of the stage version at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 September.
BBC Radio Leeds will also broadcast live from Leeds West Indian carnival as the event celebrates its 50th anniversary on Monday, 28 August.