Blackpool-born radio star Zoe Ball kicked off her first Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 by playing Respect by Aretha Franklin yesterday.
She introduced the show: “Hello. My name is Zoe. How’s your belly off for spots? Good morning Radio 2 superstar listeners, here we go. And, relax. All the build-up, and the chat and the pre-amble, the big day is finally here.”
After the song played, she said: “First record, I hope you approve. It had to be a dame on this occasion.”
She welcomed listeners to the “Zoe Ball Breakfast Show” and added: “I’ve been so excited about saying that.”
Referring to messages of support from fans before the show, Ball said: “It’s been really wonderful for all of us, it’s been really positive.” She told listeners her guests on the show would include John Cleese and Nadiya Hussain.
And during the show, Ball, 48, wished her “gorgeous” daughter Nelly a happy ninth birthday.
She said hosting her first Breakfast Show was like a “first day at school”, and added: “Thank you so much everybody for sending in lovely messages. So far, so good, but let’s not tempt fate.”
Ball revived the Hit, Miss Or Maybe game from her former TV show, Live And Kicking.
She tasked former Great British Bake Off champion and food writer Hussain to play the game, asking for her views on three new songs - Favourite Thing by Fleur East, Hello My Love by Westlife and Radio by Busted.
Hussain said East’s song was a hit, and the other two tracks were just maybes.
Following the broadcast, Ball said she had been nervous ahead of her new hosting job, but it kicked off “so quickly”, and “the listeners were so positive and really supportive, and they got involved in all the things that we did, really quickly”.
She said she received a message of support from predecessor Evans, and it was “really lovely”.
She added: “He was just saying, ‘remember to breathe, remember to time check’. It meant a lot, actually.”