Romesh Ranganathan says ‘we will miss Claudia’ as he opens first Radio 2 show

Comedian Romesh Ranganathan said “we will all miss Claudia” as he opened his first Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2.

The 46-year-old, who is running the London Marathon on Sunday, has taken over the slot from Strictly Come Dancing and Traitors host Claudia Winkleman, who left the station last month.

The Weakest Link presenter told listeners: “Welcome to my brand new show. This is me Romesh Ranganathan.

“I don’t know if you can tell, I’m very, very nervous because I’m excited. Saturday mornings with me and you, and I want to get to know you.

“I’m brand new to Saturday mornings. I know you guys will be listening to this slot thinking, ‘Oh, am I going to miss Claudia?’

“We all will miss Claudia but I’m here to get to know you, and hopefully, you’ll realise ‘he’s different, but he’s still good’. So I want you to know a bit about me.”

Commenting on his choice of opening song, the 1990 Go West hit King Of Wishful Thinking, the stand-up comedian said: “You might have been surprised.

“I’m a hip hop fan but that is one of my favourite tunes of all time, and the reason I love that song so much is, once I had a terrible, terrible gig.

Bafta Television Awards 2023
Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan attending the Bafta Television Awards 2023 (Yui Mok/PA)

“It went badly and I just basically played that song over and over again on the whole way back from the gig, just to show that gig. ‘I’ll get over you. I know I will’.”

The Ranganation host also spoke to comedian Rob Beckett, a frequent colleague, during his first Saturday show, which runs from 10am to 1pm.

During the show, London-born Beckett, 38, gave Ranganathan a costume for him to wear during the London Marathon.

He said: “I’ve got you a present Rom, to say well done on your new show and it’s just nice to get someone a present.”

Ranganathan said: “It’s a giant giraffe adult costume.”

The Brit Awards 2024 – Arrivals – London
Rob Beckett attending the Brit Awards 2024 in his giraffe costume (Ian West/PA)

He added: “Let’s get to the bottom of that. I mean, it’s just absolutely shameless by you.

“You knew you’re gonna get a plug for your tour.”

Beckett’s upcoming tour is called Giraffe and to promote it he wore an inflatable giraffe costume to the Brit Awards last month.

The comedy pair star in Sky comedy series Rob & Romesh Vs and last year hosted the Bafta TV awards ceremony together.

Ranganathan is also known for BBC One comedy series Avoidance and his Radio 2 series Romesh Ranganathan: For The Love Of Hip Hop.