Paul O’Grady fans threaten BBC Radio 2 boycott after presenter taken off-air

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BBC Radio 2 listeners have fumed that beloved presenter Paul O’Grady has been taken off-air until May despite rising listening figures.

It has been confirmed that the 66-year-old presenter has been replaced with comedian Rob Beckett, 36, as he prepares to take over Paul’s Sunday evening slot from 5pm – 7pm.

Loyal fans of the show have shared their fury on social media with many vowing to “switch off” the show until the loveable Cheshire presenter returns to the show.

In a lengthy statement on Instagram, Paul shared a sweet snap with his perfect pooch Sausage as he prepared to host his final Radio 2 show for “quite some time.”

Alongside the gorgeous snap, he wrote: “I’m doing my best to look benign but Sausage has just spotted Nancy dragging a tea towel down the hall and as you can see she wants a bit of the action.

“It’s my last Radio2 Sunday show for quite some time, our listening figures have shot up so a great big thank you to everyone who listens.

“While I'm on the subject I'd also like to thank my producer ( sounds very grand ) Malcom Prince who is one of the best in the business and hasn’t cracked once in the 14 years we’ve been on air."

The TV star insisted that the change to the regular radio schedule was solely down to a management decision made by BBC bosses.

He explained: “There’s a new regime now, I do 13 weeks on and then 13 weeks off which is nothing to do with me as it’s a management decision.

“So, all being well and providing I'm not in India or Borneo, travel restrictions permitting, I should be back some time in May. Take it easy. X @bbcradio2 @malprin.”

The Daily Star has contacted a spokesperson from Radio 2.

His adoring fans were quick to share their support for the radio host who has helmed the evening show since 2009 with his producer Malcom Prince.

After more than 13 years working on the show, many fans are devastated to see the star leave the show for the next three months as he jets off to India for a well-earned break.

Doting listeners flooded to his Instagram page to share their disappointment online, with some deciding to “replay old episodes” until his return.

One user commented: “Was going to listen next week until I found out Malcom isn’t the producer for his spot. So once Johnny Walker has finished, I'll just put my own music on til May.”

Another agreed: “Omg I am so going to miss you and Malcom on a Sunday. Shameful we won’t hear you both until May. A complaint has been sent I can tell you. Take care and stay safe both xx.”

A third fumed: “Paul, you and Malcom have been part of my life and kept my company for a long time and I have emailed ‘the management’ in the hopes that they will see sense on this.

“In the words of Malcom I will #keepthefaith that common sense will prevail. Sending love and best wishes to you and yours.”

Meanwhile, one fan of the show complained: “Utter shame. You two are amazing and entertaining every Sunday and are always worth waiting for. 13 weeks is too long to wait but I'll replay old episodes till then. Enjoy your travels and your break.”

Fans have even been encouraging each other to send complaints to Radio 2’s management team in wake of the announcement.

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