Zoe Ball quits ITV chat show after bagging coveted BBC Radio 2 top spot

Zoe Ball has quit her ITV chat show – days after landing Chris Evans’ prized Radio 2 breakfast show.

The TV favourite’s early morning weekend programme has been axed after just one year – with a planned second series canned.

The series – Zoe Ball on Saturday and Sunday – finished a month ago and was a huge hit. Zoe even launched her own book club from it. Just three weeks ago the show’s social media account proudly announced it would return next year, tweeting: “We’re back with Christmas specials and a brand new series next year! Can’t wait!”

But that is no longer the case after Zoe, 47, agreed to take over Evans’ role presenting Britain’s most listened-to radio show from January.

With it came a bumper pay rise – she is reported to have signed a £1.2million-a-year deal with the Beeb – compared to Evans’ £1.6m salary. Last night ITV confirmed the series would not be back – but said mum-of-two Zoe will film two Christmas specials.

A source said: “A second series was scheduled but the Radio 2 job was too good to turn down. It meant Zoe no longer had time to do the show around other commitments.”

Now insiders say ITV has a scheduling headache working out how to fill the slot.

“The source added: “Zoe’s are big shoes to fill so they have a job on their hands.”

Zoe said she was “absolutely thrilled” to bag the dream BBC job – and insisted she had not expected the same money as Evans.

Her previous salary was officially disclosed as £250,000 to £300,000 for work on Radio 2 and Strictly Come Dancing spin-off It Takes Two.

Evans, 52, will leave this Christmas – to present the rival breakfast show on Virgin Radio.

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