Romesh Ranganathan has said he is “scared” ahead of taking over Claudia Winkleman’s BBC Radio 2 show.

Winkleman, who also co-hosts celebrity competition Strictly Come Dancing with Tess Daly and helms hit psychological series The Traitors on the BBC, is departing her 10am to 1pm Saturday slot this year.

Comedian and actor Ranganathan has been hosting a midnight to 1am show at the weekend on the same station.

The Traitors photocall
Claudia Winkleman said she wants to spend more time with her children (Ian West/PA)

Appearing on her show on Saturday, he said: “I’m very nervous, Claudia because I want to tell you, now, to your face, you’re unbelievable.”

She replied saying: “Please don’t say that again, I’ll have to eject you.”

Ranganathan then clarified his comments saying she was “believable but in a really great way”.

He added: “So there’s obviously a little bit of nerves taking over from you, but I’m very excited, we’ve started planning and talking about bits and pieces.

“And I’m just, I’m really excited about it but also scared.”

His friend and fellow comedian Rob Beckett gave some encouragement to Ranganathan saying “however big I think it is to do a show on Radio 2, it is bigger”.

“He (Rob) also laughed and said ‘good luck’,” Ranganathan added. “I don’t know what he means. I don’t know whether that’s encouraging or not.”

He hosted the Bafta TV awards ceremony last year, with Beckett, and they also have a Sky comedy series called Rob & Romesh Vs.

Bafta Television Awards 2023
Rob Beckett was full of encouragement for his friend Romesh Ranganathan (Yui Mok/PA)

Ranganathan is also known for presenting BBC One’s The Weakest Link and starring in the channel’s comedy series Avoidance.

Winkleman, who joined Radio 2 in 2008, announced her decision to leave in December saying she wants to spend more time with her children.

She first hosted the comedy quiz series Hot Gossip on the station before moving to Friday nights to host the Claudia Winkleman Arts Show.

In 2016, Winkleman began presenting Claudia On Sunday and moved to her Saturday morning slot in February 2021, replacing Irish actor and comedian Graham Norton who moved to present a show on Virgin Radio.

Other recent high-profile departures from BBC radio include Ken Bruce, who left after more than three decades to join Greatest Hits Radio.