Vanessa Feltz quits TalkTV as news channel undergoes big shake-up

Vanessa Feltz  (PA Wire)
Vanessa Feltz (PA Wire)

Vanessa Feltz is leaving her role as a presenter on TalkTV as the news channel undergoes a major shake-up.

Feltz, who hosted the drivetime slot, will be replaced by Jeremy Kyle for four days a week, with Peter Cardwell taking over from 4-7pm on Fridays.

She said: “'I've had the most fabulous two years at TalkTV.

“It's been a joy and a revelation to work on a fledgling station. Among many experiences, it was my honour to break the news of the passing of Her Majesty, the Queen to viewers and broadcast live throughout that momentous time.

“As TalkTV steps back from linear TV, it’s time for me to also step back and focus on my other commitments and new projects ahead.”

Created with the aim of shaking up the broadcasting establishment, TalkTV will move to streaming platforms by the summer, with original programming expected to be stripped back.

News UK has moved swiftly to cut the operating costs of the channel, which suffered two years of largely dismal television ratings.

Two-thirds of staff have been told they will be let go, according to reports.

Scott Taunton, EVP President of Broadcast for News UK, praised Ms Feltz for her contribution to the channel.

He added: “Vanessa is a unique broadcaster and has made a unique contribution to TalkTV over the last two years. She steps back with our thanks and best wishes.”

The schedule changes include Mike Graham moving to the Breakfast show, while Julia Hartley-Brewer remains in her morning slot.

"The Talk" with Sharon Osbourne and "CrossTalk" with JJ Anisiobi and Nicola Thorp are absent from the spring lineup.

Dennie Morris, Director of Audio, News Broadcasting, said: “The home of common sense is back and is going completely digital. Talk will continue to bring viewers and listeners the biggest, boldest opinions and analysis in broadcasting.

“Our flagship weekday lineup with Mike Graham, Julia Hartley-Brewer, Ian Collins, Jeremy Kyle and KevinO’Sullivan will maintain Talk’s growing reach across the brand: on YouTube, on connected TVs, on radio, online and on the Talk app.”

The channel launched in 2022 with a hiring blitz, signing star names including Feltz on an estimated £1m contract.

Rupert Murdoch courted Piers Morgan with a £50m deal, including newspaper columns, books and appearances on the US Fox Nation platform.

But the channel was eclipsed by its upstart rival GB News and has been plagued by lacklustre viewing figures, with many shows attracting audiences in the low thousands.

The hefty losses prompted News UK to shut down the terrestrial channel last month - weeks after Mr Morgan said he was ditching his nightly slot on the channel, which he branded a "straitjacket", to pursue his show on YouTube.