Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton to replace Laura Whitmore on Radio 5 Live

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As Laura Whitmore announced her departure from BBC Radio 5 Live, Countryfile host Helen Skelton has been confirmed as the new host for the popular show, which will air in August.

According to the Dailymail, Helen Skelton has been confirmed as the replacement for Laura Whitmore on BBC Radio 5 Live Sunday morning slot following Laura's announcement to leave the show earlier this week.

Helen will host Laura Whitmore's self-titled show

Helen will begin with her new role in the middle of August as the program returns to screen. The weekly program, which is simply titled The Laura Whitmore Show, has been running for four years after Laura Whitmore launched it in 2018. According to Birmingham Mail, the show will combine discussion of sports news and current affairs, and will be broadcast live from Leeds, England as part of the BBC's plan to broaden its journalistic scope across the UK.

Helen's appearance was confirmed by BBC Radio 5 Live in a tweet shared on Friday afternoon. The channel's account wrote:

'We’ve got some exciting news… @HelenSkelton will present a new-look Sunday morning program on BBC Radio 5 Live.'
Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton to replace Laura Whitmore on Radio 5 Live

Fans quickly flocked to the comment section to express their delight. One commented: ‘Excellent addition to a Sunday.'

Another wrote: ‘Best tv and radio presenter by a country mile.’

Speaking about her new role, Helen said: 'I am really grateful to be joining the 5 Live family on a regular basis.

The TV host added that she felt 'truly excited' to begin her new job, saying:

'I’ve worked with the station for years, and I’m looking forward to celebrating and showcasing some of the stories and events the top 5 Live team covers. I’m truly excited to get started!'

Helen's new role comes only two months after she broke up with her husband Richie, whom she shares her three children with, after nine years of marriage. The 39-year-old TV presenter took to Instagram back in April to say they had split but would continue to 'co-parent' their children. She wrote:

‘Very sad to say that Richie and I are no longer a couple. He has left the family home. We will be doing our best to co-parent our small children.’

The new role is expected to make Helen a household name just like what Laura Whitmore got from hosting the show.

Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton to replace Laura Whitmore on Radio 5 Live Karwai Tang

According to The Sun, Helen began her career by hosting the children's program Blue Peter in 2008. After leaving Blue Peter, she worked as a presenter of live FA Women's Super League football matches for the BT Sport Channel. Helen later rose to fame by hosting BBC One’s Countryfile in 2014, in which she chats with famous sporting figures and discusses smaller, less publicized sporting affairs. As of 2022, Helen also presents rugby on Channel 4.

Laura Whitmore will focus on her Love Island role

Helen Skelton wouldn't step into the breach had it not been for the departure of former host Laura Whitmore, who decided to leave her self-titled role after four years to chase stardom with Love Island. On Wednesday, BBC Radio 5 Live's controller Heidi Dawson also confirmed Laura's departure, tweeting:

'Laura has made the difficult decision to leave her weekend show after a brilliant four years. We’d like to thank her for the energy, insight and humor she has brought to this program and look forward to working with her again in the near future.'
Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton to replace Laura Whitmore on Radio 5 Live David M. Benett

According to Metro, Laura Whitmore left the show as she's too preoccupied with her current projects, including ITV2's hit dating show Love Island, After Sun, and Celebrity Juice. Earlier in 2020, Laura landed a lucrative six-figure deal to host Love Island. She was reportedly paid a whopping amount of £600,000 despite only featuring for 14 minutes out of the show's 27 hours of screen time.

A TV insider told the Dailymail:

'Love Island has given her huge exposure and a healthy pay packet, and she’s now going to exploit that to the max. Laura has already hinted she has other projects in the pipeline and she can’t find the time to continue with all her roles. So something had to go, and it’s sad for listeners that this is what’s been jettisoned as she moves onwards and upwards.'

Read more:

This is how much Laura Whitmore is getting paid for hosting Love Island

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