Sean Rafferty to leave BBC Radio 3 after nearly three decades

BBC Radio 3 broadcaster Sean Rafferty is leaving the station after nearly three decades on the classical music channel.

The Belfast-born presenter has been the main host of his programme, In Tune, since 1997 and will depart next year.

He will be replaced by Petroc Trelawny, currently the voice of weekday breakfast at the station, in the drivetime slot next April.

The Prince of Wales (left) meets broadcaster Sean Rafferty
The then Prince of Wales (left) meets broadcaster Sean Rafferty (Liam McBurney/PA)

Rafferty said: “I shall miss the truly remarkable and life-enhancing musicians, many coming to the studio ever since they began their careers: a joy.

“And to be able to share it all with the listeners at home: a privilege. They’ve been like family.”

In 2004, Rafferty was awarded Radio Presenter of the Year at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, and was appointed MBE in 2017 for services to Broadcasting.

He is an Honorary Member of the Royal College of Music and an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and currently presents In Tune with Katie Derham.

Sam Jackson, controller of BBC Radio 3 and BBC Proms, said: “After over 50 years of broadcasting, nearly three decades of which have been on BBC Radio 3, Sean Rafferty’s impact has been immeasurable – and we all wish him the very best for the future. I’m delighted that, after over a decade of early starts, Petroc will be joining Katie to bring his wit, warmth and sparkling rapport to In Tune.”

Katie Derham arriving at The London Studios in central London to celebrate the winners in this yearÕs National Lottery Awards, the search for the UKÕs favourite Lottery-funded projects
Rafferty currently presents In Tune with Katie Derham (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Radio 3’s weekday breakfast show will be taken over by Tom McKinney, current presenter of Sunday Breakfast, and will move to Salford.

Trelawny said: “Sean has stylishly and wittily helmed In Tune for three decades, creating a very special space for musicians to perform and share rich insights into their work and their lives.

“That artists, singers, conductors and composers so relish appearing on the show is in a big part thanks to Sean’s personality; his long stewardship of the programme has made it a vital place to celebrate many forms of music making.

“Alongside Katie, I will be working hard to ensure we maintain the rich jewel of a programme he invented.”