Times Radio will offer intelligent and thought-provoking news and conversation hosted by presenters who are likeable, respected and entertaining, say the publishers.
Michael Portillo, one of Britain’s best-known broadcasters, will present a weekly Friday evening show which represents the broad range of his interests and specialisms. The show will look at cultural highlights from the weekend ahead, showcase the best of The Times’ journalism and review the week in politics with guests from across the political divide.
A former Conservative MP and Secretary of State for Defence, Michael is a familiar face to the public, who since leaving the House of Commons in 2005 has devoted himself to writing and broadcasting.
Michael has fronted many radio and television documentaries on a wide range of subjects, including the popular Great Railway Journeys series for BBC Two, which began around Britain twelve years ago and has now led to Michael travelling much of the globe on his historical quests. He is also a political commentator. He was a columnist for The Sunday Times for six years and a fixture on BBC One’s This Week for sixteen years.
Tim Levell, Times Radio Programme Director, said: “I’m thrilled that Michael will be joining the station. Times Radio is all about warm, engaging, expert presenters, and Michael exemplifies that mix. His personality and passion shine through in everything he does. Listeners will love hearing him and his guests talk about everything from the latest show in the West End to that week’s goings-on in Parliament. I can’t wait to listen!”
Michael Portillo said: “I’m delighted to join the UK’s most exciting new radio station and it is a pleasure to be back working for The Times and The Sunday Times; by-words for quality journalism. My aim is to produce an entertaining and informative show that will engage listeners.”
Michael joins an experienced line-up of presenters already announced, including Aasmah Mir and Stig Abell (at breakfast from Monday to Thursday), Luke Jones and Jenny Kleeman (at breakfast Friday to Sunday), Matt Chorley (mid-mornings from Monday to Thursday) and John Pienaar (at drive from Monday to Thursday).
Times Radio will launch this summer and broadcast on DAB, online and via app and smart speakers. The station will be ad break-free, with commercial opportunities for sponsors across the schedule. More presenter names will be announced in the weeks to come, says News UK.