Glover moves into Saturday spot that Peel made his own

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The Independent Online

When she returns from maternity leave next month, Fi Glover is to take over the plum Radio 4 Saturday morning slot once occupied by the late John Peel.

Glover, who is to stand down from her previous job as presenter of the station's Sunday morning news and current affairs show Broadcasting House, will occupy the 9am Saturday slot that many listeners still associate with Peel and the long-running show Home Truths.

A BBC spokeswoman confirmed the move yesterday and said the new show would be different in tone from Home Truths, which was controversially axed by the Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer.

"It will be very much Fi's own programme with her stamp of personality. We are not promoting this as her being the successor to John Peel - she's very much her own person with her own tone and character."

Glover, 36, recently won a Silver Sony award for her work on Broadcasting House. Readers of Radio Times voted her into ninth place in a Favourite Voice in Britain poll.

Another BBC source said Glover would not continue hosting Broadcasting House.

"A variety of people have stood in for her and we will keep this arrangement for the summer until a permanent replacement has been found," said the source.

News of Glover's new role provoked mixed reaction yesterday. Andy Kershaw, the Radio 3 presenter and outspoken critic of under-performing shows on Radio 4, warned against bringing the tone of Broadcasting House to the Saturday morning schedule. "We certainly don't need more of the Broadcasting House style on a Saturday morning as well as Sunday morning," he said. "Post-modern irony disappeared up its own backside many years ago and somebody ought to tell them that at Broadcasting House."

Kershaw, who was a close friend and colleague of Peel's, said: "What John did with Home Truths was to turn what was essentially piffle into compelling listening. One was listening to the show for the elegance and humour of John's script rather than for the self-satisfied drivel and neurosis that was the content."

Many of those who still contribute to the Home Truths website have been unimpressed by the two half-hour programmes that have replaced it - Gyles Brandreth's Sound Advice and Arthur Smith's Sentimental Journey. One contributor, posting under the name "dirtyweirdybeardy", said: "Since the demise of Home Truths I've tried to listen to its replacement programme. I've only managed about 10 minutes before having to switch off. Intelligent people all talking at once is not my idea of fun."

Glover began her career as a BBC trainee. After studying classical civilisation and philosophy, she went on to work for Radio Humberside, Somerset Sound and Radio Northampton, before joining the BBC.