News, Culture & Society

Jane Garvey and Fi Glover are latest BBC stars to leave in talent ‘brain drain’

Fi Glover and Jane Garvey, the hosts of podcast ‘Fortunately’, have become the latest big name stars to leave the BBC in a ‘brain drain’ of talent at the corporation – as they plan to start afresh on Times Radio. 

The pair have hosted almost 250 episodes of Fortunately since 2017, which describes itself as ‘a frank look behind the scenes with broadcasters as they ‘share stories they probably shouldn’t’. 

The popular podcast has been downloaded 23 million times and has hosted guests such as Claudia Winkleman, Miriam Margolyes and Jeremy Vine. 

Glover, 53, and Garvey, 58, will co-present a podcast and afternoon show for Times Radio, starting on October 10, it was announced yesterday. 

The podcast hosts are the latest in a huge string of broadcasters to leave the BBC over the past year, sparking fears of a mass exodus of talent from the corporation. 

Fi Glover (left) and Jane Garvey (right), the hosts of podcast ‘Fortunately’, have become the latest big name stars to leave the BBC in a ‘brain drain’ of talent at the corporation

Glover, 53, and Garvey, 58, will co-present a podcast and afternoon show for Times Radio, starting on October 10, it was announced yesterday

Glover, 53, and Garvey, 58, will co-present a podcast and afternoon show for Times Radio, starting on October 10, it was announced yesterday

They follow the likes of Andrew Marr, Emily Maitlis and Dan Walker to make their move away from the broadcaster. 

Glover, who has been with the BBC for 29 years since starting work with local radio stations in 2003, said that they weren’t leaving in a ‘massive strop’ but that they found a return to ‘solid journalism appealing’. 

Garvey added that she was ‘delighted’ to be joining Times Radio after a ‘brilliant time working with the BBC’. 

Garvey was the first voice heard on Radio 5 Live when it launched in 1994, becoming co-presenter of its breakfast programme, and presented Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour for 13 years. 

The popular podcast Fortunately has been downloaded 23 million times and has hosted guests such as Claudia Winkleman, Miriam Margolyes and Jeremy Vine

The popular podcast Fortunately has been downloaded 23 million times and has hosted guests such as Claudia Winkleman, Miriam Margolyes and Jeremy Vine

The pair have hosted almost 250 episodes of Fortunately since 2017, which describes itself as 'a frank look behind the scenes with broadcasters as they 'share stories they probably shouldn't'

The pair have hosted almost 250 episodes of Fortunately since 2017, which describes itself as ‘a frank look behind the scenes with broadcasters as they ‘share stories they probably shouldn’t’

They will now co-present a podcast and live weekday afternoon show from 3pm to 5pm on Monday to Thursday, which will cover news, conversation and interviews – with more details to be announced. 

Glover said: ‘It’s been an amazing 29 years with the BBC. 

‘But I am so looking forward to bringing Times Radio listeners some extraordinary stories from some extraordinary people with Jane.’ 

Garvey added: ‘I’ve had a brilliant time working for the BBC. Now I’m delighted to be joining the award-winning team at Times Radio. 

Glover, who has been with the BBC for 29 years since starting work with local radio stations in 2003, said that they weren't leaving in a 'massive strop' but that they found a return to 'solid journalism appealing'

Glover, who has been with the BBC for 29 years since starting work with local radio stations in 2003, said that they weren’t leaving in a ‘massive strop’ but that they found a return to ‘solid journalism appealing’

Garvey was the first voice heard on Radio 5 Live when it launched in 1994, becoming co-presenter of its breakfast programme, and presented Radio 4's Woman's Hour for 13 years (pictured right, with Jenni Murray left)

Garvey was the first voice heard on Radio 5 Live when it launched in 1994, becoming co-presenter of its breakfast programme, and presented Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour for 13 years (pictured right, with Jenni Murray left)

They will now co-present a podcast and live weekday afternoon show from 3pm to 5pm Monday to Thursday, which will cover news, conversation and interviews - with more details to be announced

They will now co-present a podcast and live weekday afternoon show from 3pm to 5pm Monday to Thursday, which will cover news, conversation and interviews – with more details to be announced

‘We can’t wait to get started on a live mix of illuminating conversation, topical interviews and occasional carping.’ 

The BBC has lost multiple big name stars over the past years in a ‘brain drain’ of high-profile talent, including Emily Maitlis, Andrew Marr, Jon Sopel, Vanessa Feltz, Simon Mayo, Louise Minchin, Dan Walker and Lewis Goodall. 

Many have been poached by its biggest radio rival Global, which is home to stars such as Nick Ferrari, Shelagh Fogarty and James O’Brien, and owns stations including LBC and Classic FM. 

Offers of large pay rises are said to have swayed the stars away from their former roles at the Beeb.  

Earlier this year Andrew Marr left to present new radio shows on LBC and Classic FM after 21 years at the BBC – including 16 years fronting his own Sunday morning political programme. 

Earlier this year Andrew Marr left to present new radio shows on LBC and Classic FM after 21 years at the BBC. Undated handout photo issued by Global of Andrew Marr at his desk at LBC

Earlier this year Andrew Marr left to present new radio shows on LBC and Classic FM after 21 years at the BBC. Undated handout photo issued by Global of Andrew Marr at his desk at LBC

The 62-year-old said he was ‘keen to get my own voice back’ as the broadcaster’s strict impartiality rules’ were frustrating. 

Marr is said to have admitted he was prompted to leave the BBC because of his desire to speak freely on major issues, including climate change and politics.

In May he acknowledged he felt ’10 years younger since leaving the BBC’, where he said he had ’18 layers of grey-faced managers sitting on my shoulders the whole time’ in an interview with Matt Forde’s Political Party podcast. 

BBC veterans including Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis and former BBC North America editor Jon Sopel – who had a combined salary of over £500,000 at the Beeb – also left for Global and now host the Newsagents podcast with Lewis Goodall. 

BBC veterans Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel left the BBC for Global, the owners of LBC, to front a new show and a podcast

BBC veterans Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel left the BBC for Global, the owners of LBC, to front a new show and a podcast

Maitlis had also become ‘frustrated at being ticked-off by BBC bosses over impartiality’. 

In 2020 the BBC decided she had breached the rules in a monologue about Dominic Cummings’s trip to Durham during lockdown.

Sopel was at the BBC for almost 40 years and was considered by many to be a frontrunner to replace Laura Kuennsbuerg as political editor before his surprise departure. 

And at the end of August news anchor Huw Edwards – who recently announced news of the Queen’s death and presented the BBC’s coverage of the funeral – was also seen at rival news giant Global’s HQ. 

And at the end of August news anchor Huw Edwards - who recently announced news of the Queen's death and presented the BBC's coverage of the funeral - was also seen at rival news giant Global's HQ

And at the end of August news anchor Huw Edwards – who recently announced news of the Queen’s death and presented the BBC’s coverage of the funeral – was also seen at rival news giant Global’s HQ 

Edwards said he he had been ‘thinking about my future’ and was ‘considering several options both inside and outside the BBC’.

He earned around £400,000 at the BBC last year but told Radio Cymru it would be ‘fair’ for ‘viewers to get a change’ and give his co-workers a chance.

In August 2021 said that the ‘nightly news business’ could be ‘taxing’ and that he didn’t think he would be ‘doing that for long’.

But he added that by January he will have done 20 years as the face of the News at 10 and said this was a milestone he would like to reach.

In April Dan Walker announced he was leaving his £295,000 role as a host of BBC Breakfast to join Channel 5 news as lead anchor.

It followed the departure of his co-star Louise Minchin, who left last year to spend more quality time with her family.   

In April Dan Walker announced he was leaving his £295,000 role as a host of BBC Breakfast to join Channel 5 news as lead anchor

In April Dan Walker announced he was leaving his £295,000 role as a host of BBC Breakfast to join Channel 5 news as lead anchor 

At start of August Paul O’Grady quit his Radio 2 Sunday afternoon show after almost 13 years as the BBC was accused of ageism. 

It followed a string of changes in radio schedule that saw older presenters such as Steve Wright, Tony Blackburn and Craig Charles either leave or have their shows shunted. 

Radio 2 has been trying to woo younger listeners with fresh talent including ex-Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK judge Michelle Visage, Waterloo Road actress Angela Griffin, and DJ Spoony, while also reducing the bill it pays some of its big-hitters. 

In the past three years, BBC Radio has also lost Graham Norton, who quit the station just before Christmas in 2020 but whose talk show is broadcast on BBC One, and Simon Mayo. 

A BBC source previously told MailOnline: ‘People come, people go, but we have lots of existing talent and new and emerging stars and there is always a natural point where people move on.’ 

At start of August Paul O'Grady quit his Radio 2 Sunday afternoon show after almost 13 years as the BBC was accused of ageism

At start of August Paul O’Grady quit his Radio 2 Sunday afternoon show after almost 13 years as the BBC was accused of ageism 

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