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Sara Cox: My pal Zoe got Breakfast Show job on talent, not because she’s female

Sara Cox: said many people thought she would get the Radio 2 Breakfast Show job (Ian West/PA)
Sara Cox: said many people thought she would get the Radio 2 Breakfast Show job (Ian West/PA)

Sara Cox has said that Zoe Ball did not land the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show role just because “she’s got fallopian tubes”, while hailing more women taking centre stage in broadcasting.

Cox has also said she knew she would not get the coveted early morning position following Chris Evans’ departure, despite everyone around her thinking otherwise.

The presenters will both start their new Radio 2 jobs on the same day, Monday January 14, with Ball making history as the first female presenter to ever host the Breakfast Show slot on the station. Cox is to take over the station’s Drivetime slot.

She told ITV’s This Morning: “I think the beauty of this moment is that there are more women coming through in broadcasting, and quite rightly so, and we should be supporting each other and celebrating each other, which we are.

“Me and Zoe have been texting about our various anxiety dreams we’re having at the moment.”

Cox added: “I think Zoe got the job because she’s a great broadcaster. I don’t think she got the job because she’s got fallopian tubes.

“It’s not because she’s a woman that she’s got the gig, and same with me. I’m hoping it’s because I’m good, funny and likeable.”

Cox, who acted as a stand-in presenter in for Evans, said she would not want the Breakfast Show role full-time.

She said: “I want time with my kids when it’s half-term and that’s not happened for a few years now.

“When I used to swan in and cover for Chris it was really easy, because I was on there for like two weeks and, it is quite tiring and full-on, but by three or four o’clock I was kind of horrible to my kids.

“Breakfast is a great gig, it’s an amazing show to do, it’s great money, but I can’t mop up my kids’ tears with a wad of 50s.”

Cox, 44, said there was “some confusion” when Evans announced his exit from Radio 2, with many people assuming she would get the job.

She said: “I’d filled in for breakfast and I got out the shower the morning Chris Evans said he was leaving, and my phone melted on my bed.

Radio 2 Breakfast Show
Zoe Ball is the first woman to host the Radio 2 Breakfast Show (Sarah Jeynes/BBC)

“I was like ‘what’s this?’, loads of texts, (some) from my family saying ‘you’ve got something to tell us, what’s going on?’ and I’m like, ‘I’ve got no clue.’

“One of the first texts was actually from Zoe going, ‘you’ve got this, we love you in our house’.”

She said she “knew for a while” that she did not get the Breakfast Show job, but that she was unable to say anything until Ball was confirmed in the job.

Cox was confirmed as the successor to Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley on BBC Radio 2 Drivetime in October, after Mayo announced he was quitting the station.

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