The upmarket Villandry foodstore and restaurant in central London was not an obvious place for such an announcement. But Sara Cox, best friend of the current presenter Zoe Ball, seemed merely pleased.
"It's brilliant news, exciting, fantastic," she declared. "I am incredibly flattered that they have trusted me with it."
The show is widely regarded as the station's premier slot, regularly attracting almost seven million listeners. Ms Cox, 24, now a presenter on Channel 4's Big Breakfast, had been in discussions with the controller, Andy Parfitt, for some time.
Ms Ball is leaving the show to concentrate on starting a family with her husband Norman Cook, best known as disc jockey and dance-music guru Fatboy Slim or the one-time bass-player with the Housemartins. Ms Cox will start her two-year contract in April.