Emma Barnett to join BBC Radio 4 Today as star prepares to leave Woman's Hour next month

Emma Barnett  (Dave Benett/WireImage)
Emma Barnett (Dave Benett/WireImage)

BBC Radio 4 presenter Emma Barnett will leave Woman's Hour in April to present the station's Today programme.

The broadcaster and journalist, 39, has been the main host of Woman's Hour since 2021.

She said that the programme "means a great deal to me and I want to thank the team and our mighty army of listeners for how much we have shared - the joy, wisdom, sorrow and sometimes sheer rage".

"We are living in volatile times where sometimes even asking a question can seem risky - wrongly so," Barnett also said.

"My ambition on the Today programme is to keep asking the questions that listeners want answers to - as well as raising many smiles along the way - while armed with a very strong cup of tea."

She posted on social media to say “farewell to my beloved” Woman’s Hour.

During her stint on the show, she interviewed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffeshortly after the British-Iranian dual national returned to the UK followingher imprisonment - and had what she described as a "rare and specialconversation" with singer Kate Bush.

Barnett previously presented BBC current affairs programme Newsnight before leaving in 2022.

She took over the hosting duties of Woman’s Hour after Jane Garvey and Dame Jenni Murray both decided to quit the show, focused on women.

A new presenter is set to be recruited by the BBC.

Today editor Owenna Griffiths, said: “Emma is a truly great radio talent and I’m completely delighted she’s joining the Today team.

“She consistently puts the audience at the heart of her programmes and her unique combination of warmth, energy and persistence will be a fantastic addition to the line-up."

She will join a line-up of presenters that currently includes Nick Robinson, Mishal Husain and Amol Rajan.