Settling into the presenter’s chair, Ball began by playing Aretha Franklin “Respect”, telling listeners: “Good morning Radio 2 superstar listeners, here we go.”
The 48-year-old then breathed a sigh of relief, saying: "And, relax. After all the build-up, and the chat and the preamble, the big day is finally here. We are so super-excited. I'm ready, the prod squad team are ready."
She added: "Welcome to the first ever Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, I've been so excited about saying that."
The Radio 2 Breakfast Show is the most listened to show on UK radio.
Evans announced he was stepping down from the role last year, later announcing he will return to Virgin Radio to present their breakfast show instead. His tenure starts next week.
Listeners tuned in to Ball’s first show, intrigued to see the new host faired, with the response so far being mixed.
Twitter user @lizthestitch was positive, saying that Ball’s appointment has “brought tears” to her eyes, while @go_dizzy_go praised the debut. “I’ve finally returned to being a Radio 2 listener,” she wrote.
However, @EamonnLMoore was more negative, writing that Evans’s departure “has left a big hole”, with another saying it felt very “gameshowish”. Twitter user @lindadaviescarr said she gave Ball 30 minutes before switching off.
You can see a selection of responses below.
Ball’s previous experience includes hosting the Radio 1 breakfast show and weekend breakfast shows on Radio 2.
Ball previously revealed her plans for the breakfast show to BBC News, saying: “The thing we really wanna do is bring lots of music, lots of energy, not too much chat – but enough, and we want people to have learned something by the end of the show.”
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