Entertainment & Arts

Nihal Arthanayake and Emma Barnett join BBC Radio 5 live line-up

Nihal Arthanayake
Image caption Arthanayake will continue to host a show on Asian Network, alongside his 5 live work

Former BBC Radio 1 presenter Nihal Arthanayake is to join BBC Radio 5 live's Afternoon Edition, the station's controller had announced.

Arthanayake, who has been helming a daily phone-in show on BBC Asian Network, will co-present with existing host Sarah Brett.

Jonathan Wall also revealed Peter Allen would be leaving 5 live Daily to rejoin "one of the great 5 live double acts".

Allen will team up with former co-host Jane Garvey for a Sunday evening show.

Arthanayake, who will continue to present a Friday show on Asian Network, said 5 live was "the perfect place for me to evolve further".

"I genuinely couldn't be happier at being asked to present Afternoon Edition with Sarah. It's a big move for me but I'm excited about bringing my mic skills to the station.''

Image caption Garvey and Allen were part of the station's original presenting team

Allen, who has been with the station since it began in 1994, will be leaving his role in September with Emma Barnett joining the show to replace him. Adrian Chiles will continue to host on Monday and Tuesday.

Garvey, who was the first ever voice on the station, co-hosted the breakfast and afternoon shows with Allen for 13 years. She will continue to present Women's Hour on BBC Radio 4.

Wall said that in Arthanayake and Barnett, the station had secured "two of the most exciting talents in British radio", adding Allen and Garvey were "radio royalty" who had previously been the "perfect radio pairing".

Allen said he did "rather fancy the idea of joining [Garvey] on Woman's Hour... but the management seem curiously reluctant to accept that".

"So it's back to 5 live for both of us - cross your fingers on my behalf," he added.

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