Vanessa Feltz to take over Sarah Kennedy Radio 2 show

Vanessa Feltz is to join BBC Radio 2 to take over the early breakfast show slot vacated by Sarah Kennedy.

The broadcaster - best known for her daytime TV talk shows on BBC and ITV which were axed more than a decade ago - will start on January 17.

She will take over the programme prior to Chris Evans's breakfast show.

She said this morning: "It's wonderful, I'm all aquiver and I can't stop grinning."

Feltz, 48, will be on air from 5am to 6.30am each day with her new show. She will continue to present her popular mid-morning show on Radio London 94.9 which she began in 2002.

Feltz is also known for her appearance on the first series of Celebrity Big Brother in which she appeared to have an on-screen breakdown.

Her TV career - which had also included a presenting role on Channel 4's Big Breakfast - stalled after a fake guest scandal which engulfed her ITV programme.

She said: "I'm utterly thrilled to be handing over to Chris Evans every morning - it's my idea of the perfect start to the day.'

Feltz will also deputise for Jeremy Vine when he is unable to present his weekday lunchtime show.

Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan said: "As well as being an accomplished and prize-winning radio presenter, Vanessa has a huge zest and passion for life in general, making her the perfect early morning show host.

"I'm convinced that she'll be the ideal companion to the millions of our earlybird listeners.'

Kennedy left Radio 2 abruptly in the summer after 17 years. The announcement about her departure came after she had been absent from the show for three weeks.

Kennedy had been criticised for her occasionally erratic on-air performances.