Simon Mayo Book Club to end

Simon Mayo Book Club to end

Broadcaster Simon Mayo has announced that his book club on BBC Radio 2 is to end.

The news appears to be a result of scheduling changes to Radio 2 which will see Mayo partner with Jo Whiley on a new show from May. The BBC has confirmed that the Book Club will continue on BBC Radio 2 as part of Sara Cox’s new show, which will launch on Monday 14th May and will be broadcast Monday to Thursday, from 10pm to midnight.

Speaking on Twitter, Mayo said: "Proud of all the amazing books we covered on the R2 Book Club. Thanks to all authors, PRs, publishers, the Reading Agency, reviewers and listeners who made it happen."

Mayo's book club started in 2010 and since then he has interviewed numerous high-profile authors including JK Rowling and Peter May.

Listeners to the show have lamented the end of the book club, as have publishers.

Alison Barrow of Transworld said: "Thank you for putting so many books on the radar for your lively and smart radio audience. It’s been brilliant."

Author Joanna Cannon said: "Very proud to have been chosen for @R2BookClub earlier this year. Genuinely one of the highlights of my writing adventures. This makes me so sad, but a huge thank you to @simonmayo and the team for supporting so many authors, and for doing it so brilliantly".

Katie Brown, commissioning editor at Trapeze, said: "I am so sad about this thank you @simonmayo @schmotime for all your book love. Can someone take up the mantle?!"

A petition has been started to convince the BBC to halt its changes.

Petition creator Heather Hayward said: "As a busy working mum of four children, sitting down to read a book is sometimes a challenge. However, listening to the Radio 2 Book club feature on Simon Mayo's drive time show on my way home inspires me to often pick up the featured book and make time to read. It provides a great platform for up & coming authors to be heard, and I believe helps to the nation to come off their phones/gadgets and get reading.

"The changes to the Radio 2 schedule means that the Book club is no more. We the undersigned would like Radio 2 to reconsider this decision and help to keep the nations interest in reading!"

Last month, BBC Radio 4 aired the last episode of arts show "Midweek", following scheduling changes from the station that includes the creation of two new arts programmes.