Reports that Radio Cambridgeshire break the bank to sign up ex Heart FM presenter Kev Lawrence for breakfast show ‘pure speculation’ says BBC
- Credit: Archant
Reports that former Heart FM breakfast host Kev Lawrence is to present the Radio Cambridgeshire breakfast show have been described by the BBC as “pure speculation”.
A formal announcement is expected when Kev returns from holiday but insiders say they have "broken the local radio budget" to secure his services for the five mornings a week, 7am to 9am slot.
However last night a BBC spokesperson said: "This article is purely speculation".
That is despite news of the appointment having been circulating within the BBC local radio station for weeks and staff told of changes, due to take effect from July.
Thousands have signed a petition opposed to the closure of the regional Heart FM stations which has seen long serving hosts such as Kev lose their jobs.
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In a recent interview Kev Lawrence hinted about a career switch telling journalists his new role would be "local and I can't wait to announce details about it soon.
"My own passion for breakfast radio is all about living my life in Cambridgeshire and having loads of fun - while reflecting what's happening where we all live".
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His salary at the BBC - not confirmed - is thought to be over £55,000 a year with one insider noting that they suspect "it's about a 25 per cent increase on previous people who have done that job".
Other changes at BBC Radio Cambridgeshire are expected to see the current breakfast presenter Thordis Fridriksson, who joined the station two years, return to her former afternoon slot as host of Drivetime (4-6pm Monday-Friday). She is originally from Iceland and also presents a gardening programme for BBC Radio Norfolk.
It could also mean veteran broadcaster Ronnie Barbour being axed from the Drivetime slot and return to occasional freelance duties.
BBC Cambridgeshire station manager David Harvey said the changes to the schedule would be announced either later in the week or early next week.
He would not confirm officially that Kev had been signed for the breakfast show but did confirm all existing staff was aware of the new schedule being introduced.
When Heart FM announced they were ending local regional presenters, Kev posted on Facebook that it had been "a fantastic journey and I have loved every single second.
"How lucky am I to have been on the air all these years, having fun and making so many memories?"
BBC insiders believe their new breakfast show host's lack of current affairs journalism will emphasise the 'dumbing down' in terms of content but they concede his popularity is likely to attract a fresh crop of listeners.