BBC Radio 3 loses a presenter

BBC Radio 3 loses a presenter


norman lebrecht

August 10, 2021

The presenter Suzy Klein has been named Head of Arts and Classical Music TV, effectively succeeding Jan Younghusband in a role that produces less and less clasical music on TV.

Suzy has been an agreeable presenter on Radio 3, but she lacks commissioning nous and political guile.

Official statement:

Suzy will lead the BBC’s world-class arts and classical music output on TV, driving audience reach and impact across the country and maintaining the BBC’s position as the UK’s biggest creator, investor and broadcaster of original Arts and Classical Music content.

Suzy will work to support British creativity by supporting the wider arts and music sectors, to showcase the best of UK talent and deliver a range of distinctive high-quality and impactful Arts and Classical Music content. Whilst her remit focuses on TV, iPlayer and Arts Digital, she’ll be collaborating with radio and BBC Sounds to make the most of the BBC’s arts and classical content for all audiences.

The position was created to see Arts and Classical Music TV commissioning fully integrated into BBC Content, as part of a new commissioning powerhouse under the leadership of Patrick Holland (Director of Factual, Arts & Classical Music). The restructuring of TV Arts and Music commissioning aims to bring specialist depth, modern storytelling and enhanced ambition to the genres and bring new opportunities for collaboration and programming of scale to help grow BBC iPlayer, build the BBC’s vital role in British Arts and Classical Music sectors, and deliver outstanding content for all licence-fee payers.



  • Malcolm James says:

    There’s an excellent replacement for her as an Essential Classics presenter currently doing the afternoon slot. Think he’s called Ian Skelly.

    • Dr Huw says:

      Agree: Skelly is wasted on the afternoons with less opportunity to share the charm, wit and knowledge he brought to the morning’s schedules! Come on Radio 3!!

      • Helen says:

        I really miss Ian Skelly in the mornings. I don’t get the same chance to listen in the afternoons. Why did he get moved?

        • Malcolm James says:

          Officially, so that they could make better use of one of Radio 3’s best-loved voices, i.e. Georgia Mann. However, she’s certainly no better than Ian Skelly (and she really needs to get to grips with some rules of German pronunciation), so he must have displeased one of the suits.

        • Rit says:

          I’ve enjoyed both Ian and Georgia’s presenting. Am sure Ian will get asked to do mornings to cover illness/holidays etc and Georgia likewise for afternoons. I was always pleased to hear Ian that it was Ian’s turn doing Essential Classics before the switchover.

        • Derek says:

          Me, too! He was a must-listen-to!

        • Derek says:

          Me, too! With him EC was a must-listen. Certainly isn’t now.

    • Bob says:

      Skelly has already been moved from the 0900 slot to afternoon concert.

  • Gareth Jones says:

    Thankfully we’ll be spared her cloying, simpering platitudes on R3. However, surprising that the position has been given to someone who doesn’t know the difference between riffing and arranging. Let’s hope the BBC sees sense and brings back Ian Skelly to the morning slot.

  • Henry Rosen says:

    How do you know what she lacks Norm? If she did rounds of interviews she obviously doesn’t lack much..

  • H and H says:

    Radio 3 is losing an excellent presenter with an engaging manner, wonderful voice for radio and great knowledge of music, particularly classical. We will miss her, but wish her well.

  • christopher storey says:

    Thank goodness she’s going. Not as bad as some of them e.g. Georgia Mann, but that is not saying a lot. I still find Ian Skelly and Sarah Walker by far and away the best and most knowledgeable presenters

    • Duncan Eves says:

      Georgia Mann: entertaining, knowledgeable and good microphone manner – at least she does not drop her voice at the end of sentences or gabble like some presenters.

    • John Groves says:

      I can think of someone much worse, but luckily she is now only on Saturday’s Breakfast programme! Bring back Ian Skelly – stop the “dumbing down”!

  • Corno di Caccia says:

    Replacing dross with dross.

  • Gary Freer says:

    Bring back Skellers!

  • Norbert says:

    Ian Skelly.

  • CRogers says:

    Give her a chance to get into the post Norman……. I declare THE NEW WORLD ORDER of being a bit (just a bit) nicer to one another, unless that is, they’ve murdered my mother…..

  • Nicholas Ennos says:

    BBC’s selection process: Purche porti la gonella

  • Cynical Bystander says:

    19 comments so far. 20 with this one. Not many more until the total audience for Radio 3 have had our say?

  • Edmond Owenson says:

    My wife and I are on the verge of turning Radio 3 off between 9.00 and 12.00. The droning on and lack of knowledge from Georgia Mann appals us. Ian Skelly and Sarah Walker are by far the best presenters.

    • Jonathan Collier says:

      I’m about to turn off too. EC has become a sort of variety show with endless rubbish being played and far too much talking. Short excerpts drive one mad. I sense Georgia Mann doesn’t hugely like what one would normally refer to as classical music. It’s all become far too eclectic, far too PC, and far too bitty. It cheapens and infantilises classical music. We’ve even got to the point where she mentions certain listeners asking for pop songs.

  • Dragonetti says:

    * Suzy Klein is a saint and I won’t hear a word against her
    * Agree about bringing back Ian Skelly
    * Best let her start her new post before passim judgment.

  • BBC says:

    When Slipped Disc celebrated the overdue departure of Younghusband, I posted the following comment, which I repeat now although it is too soon to judge:

    Hurrah. Jan Younghusband was not the best. But…

    “always keep a-hold of Nurse, for fear of finding something worse”.

    Maybe this will turn out not to be the good news it looks like.

  • Rit says:

    Give Suzy Klein a chance! How can anyone know what her commissioning nous will be like until she starts doing the job? After all, activity was very limited under Ms Younghusband. Ms Klein at least knows her classical music well.

  • Neil Kirby says:

    I shall certainly miss Suzy Klein, I think she has a very comforting voice for morning radio, I don’t mind Georgia Mann, but Ian Skelly is a monumental waffler who likes the sound of his voice too much and is better suited to afternoon duties where he can’t say too much.

    • Earps says:

      Keep Ian Skelly away! His simpering, his sugared bitterness, his self-congratulatory limp attempts at wit, let these be all consigned to the past!

  • Paul says:

    Shame about Suzy leaving Essentials, will be missed by one at least.Good luck “Suzette”!

  • Stephen says:

    A wonderfully natural and talented presenter in Suzy; hope to see her back on Radio 3 one day.

  • Tim says:

    Is there any news on a replacement for Suzy Klein? I imagine the Beeb are trying to avoid bringing back Ian Skelly, which would be ideal. He wears his knowledge lightly and is one to look forward to.

  • John Hooker says:

    Georgia Mann was a very poor replacement for Ian Skelly and the reason I now listen to Alexander Armstrong on Classic FM. She um’s and ah’s and is all too obviously not a natural broadcaster. Bring back Sarah Walker!

  • Richard Holroyd says:

    Perhaps Radio 3 has too many presenters so the jobs are being shared out in a different way. Perhaps some aren’t willing to do certain parts of the schedule. Two that ought to be ditched are Elizabeth Alker whose diction is far from clear and whose grasp of foreign words is very weak, and Sean Rafferty who cannot wait to start talking at the end of a piece of music.

  • John Jones says:

    What a load of meaningless garbage. Why can’t they talk in plain English? The whole effing country has become a “delivery” service.