Anita Rani joins Emma Barnett on Woman’s Hour: ‘Cannot wait to get behind the mic’

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BBC Radio 4 listeners have seen broadcaster Emma Barnett step in the popular radio show after hosts Jane Garvey and Dame Jenni Murray both left at the end of 2020. Now, it’s been confirmed she will be joined in the studio by Countryfile presenter, Anita Rani, who will take the reins two days a week, beginning on January 15.

Previous hosts Dame Jenni and Jane announced they would depart in quick succession at the end of last year.

With Emma having now started to settle into her role as presenter, it has been confirmed Anita will host the final two days of the week, starting next Friday.

Anita explained she had “long been a fan” of the long-running radio show.

She added she was “really looking forward to getting to know the listeners and discussing issues that matter to them the most”.

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Anita was inundated with support as she shared the announcement on her Twitter account, posting: “What an honour to be joining


“Cannot wait to get behind the mic to talk about all the things you want me to. All aboard the mothership.”

Shappi Khorsandi replied: “I thought @Emmabarnett was such a brilliant booking and now WH is even better.

“I always listened anyway but going to be always listening even more. Congratulations!”


One fan said: “Too right! Woop! Anita is fabulous and so positive she will bring so much to the programme. Yay!”

“This is BRILLIANT. Love Anita when she fills in for Jo Whiley on R2,” praised another.

Anita said of her new role: “I am really looking forward to getting to know the listeners and discussing issues that matter to them the most.

“Woman’s Hour has always given a voice to people who may not be heard elsewhere and I want to continue that important tradition.

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“What an honour and what a way to kick off the weekend.”

The popular presenter has been seen in recent years on Countryfile as well as presenting a range of explorative documentaries for the broadcaster.

Anita added: “I’ve long been a fan of Woman’s Hour and admired the presenters who have hosted the show previously, so I cannot wait to become part of it myself as the second presenter, alongside the brilliant Emma Barnett.”

Mohit Bakaya, Controller of Radio 4, said of Anita’s appointment: “I want Radio 4 to continue to seek ways to better reflect and be relevant to the audience across the UK.

“And Woman’s Hour has a special role in this when it comes to subjects and stories that matter to women. 

“I am delighted Anita Rani is joining the programme. She brings a wealth of broadcasting experience as well as a perspective and insight that will be valuable when exploring the issues facing women today. 

“With Emma Barnett and Anita presenting, Woman’s Hour couldn’t be in better hands,” she added.

Anita’s first show will air next Friday as Emma continues at the helm on Monday, through until Thursday.

Woman’s Hour broadcasts on BBC Radio 4 at 10am Mondays-Fridays, and 4pm on Saturdays.

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