Simon Mayo Calls Out ‘Appalling’ Abuse Of Jo Whiley After Their Radio 2 Show Is Axed

Matt Bagwell

Simon Mayo has defended his Radio 2 co-presenter Jo Whiley after she was on the receiving end of abuse following his announcement that he is quitting the station.

The broadcaster called out the “appalling” abuse Jo had experienced and called for “civility” after the BBC axed the pair’s Drivetime show.

Simon confirmed he is leaving Radio 2 after 17 years on Monday morning.

Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley

Simon presented the Drivetime show solo from 2001 until January this year, when a shake-up saw Jo brought in to co-host with him, which didn’t go down well with some listeners.

Although the Drivetime show is being cancelled, Jo has bagged herself a brand new evening show on the station, which will kick off in January next year.

In a series of tweets shared on Monday morning, Simon took the opportunity to praise his co-host and “loyal friend”, and call out those attacking her.

He tweeted: “One other thing. Maybe it needs to be said, maybe not but so there is no room for argument I’ll be clear. I’ve loved working with the exceptional Jo Whiley and when the show was ‘reconfigured’ she was my first and only choice”.

He continued: “Some of the abuse she has had here has been appalling. Support for a show is one thing, assaulting the dignity of a warm-hearted and loyal friend is another.

“So by all means discuss what’s happening here, but let’s keep some civility. Thank you. Here endeth the lesson.”

Simon is the second high profile star to leave Radio 2 in as many months, following the news that Chris Evans would be stepping down from his hugely popular Breakfast Show at the end of the year.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Zoe Ball would be replacing Chris as the new host of the breakfast show.

Speaking about her new job, Zoe said: “This is bonkers, can I just say? I am… a crazy mix of elation, wanting to burst into tears, thinking about running away. But mainly, thrilled.”

Zoe is the first woman to hold the job on a permanent basis, describing the accolade as an “honour and a privilege”, after previously helming the breakfast show on Radio 1.