Holmes in race for Jimmy Young slot

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The Independent Online

A new name has entered the frame to replace Jimmy Young, if and when the newly knighted 80-year-oldhangs up his microphone.

Eamonn Holmes, a fixture on the GMTV sofa for eight years, has put his hat in the ring, even though there is no vacancy for the BBC Radio 2 lunchtime slot.

Sir Jimmy's contract, which runs until September, has been extended by a year. Some senior BBC executives would like to see a younger presenter take over. But they also know that Sir Jimmy remains highly popular with listeners. When the Radio 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell publicly declared that he had been approached for the job, it caused great embarrassment for the BBC, and a campaign to "Save Jimmy Young" included questions being asked in the House of Commons.

Mr Holmes, 42, was quoted in The Mirror yesterday as saying: "If Jimmy Young ever hangs up his microphone I'd like to put my application in. He's a legend, but he's had a good innings."

Mr Holmes's £1.5m contract is up for renewal in June.