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18 February 2021

Scala Radio signs Penny Smith for new Drivetime show

Scala Radio has today announced that broadcaster and former GMTV anchor, Penny Smith is to launch an exciting new drivetime show from the 1st March. The presenter has signed up for a new weekday programme, playing classical greats and classical with a twist from 4-7pm.

Mark Forrest meanwhile is moving from afternoons to present Scala Radio’s mid-morning classical music and entertainment show. He’ll be dipping into the ‘Scala Album of the Week’ and will be joined by A-list guests from the arts and entertainment world at 10.30am, as well as fronting the ever-successful Scala Radio Book Club every Thursday at 10.30am.

As part of exciting new schedule changes, Angellica Bell is to launch a new magazine style weekend show. Familiar to viewers of The One Show and The Martin Lewis Money Show, Angellica will bring top guests to air with Alan Carr and Beverley Knight already lined up. Broadcast on Saturdays and Sundays at 10am-1pm, the show will also feature much-loved segment, ‘Music Teacher of the Week’. The Celebrity MasterChef winner will also be sharing some of her favourite recipes in a weekly baking slot.

Angellica said “I can’t wait to get going on my brand-new Scala Radio Saturday and Sunday shows.  There’s going to be the usual mix of classical hits and modern popular tracks, given a classical twist too, which is why I love the selection of music played on the shows. I’ll also be offering listeners culinary inspirations with recipe suggestions, celebrating music teachers from across the UK, who have done an incredible job over the last few months, and as usual, showcasing the ‘Album of the Weekend’. There’ll be special celebrity- friend guests to join in the fun, so listen out for Alan Carr, Martin Lewis and Gabrielle in the first couple of weeks!” 

Simon Mayo, who as previously announced will be taking a step back from his weekday show, will launch a new Saturday afternoon show from April. Simon Mayo’s Essential Albums will showcase the ultimate classical albums, from landmark recordings to innovative new releases. Whether you’re looking for a place to start in the world of classical music, or you’ve been building up your collection for decades, this show celebrates the finest must-have pieces and performances. Featuring full works and listener recommendations, Simon Mayo offers a Saturday afternoon of musical escapism.

Jack Pepper, who became one of the UK’s youngest radio presenters when he joined Scala Radio two years ago at just 19 years old, will continue in his 3pm slot throughout March before moving to a new showtime of 6pm. Hannah Cox meanwhile moves to Saturday Breakfast at 7am, and Anne Frankenstein joins the Scala team for Sunday afternoons 1-3pm.

Speaking about her new weekday 4-7pm show, Penny Smith said “With Spring on the way, evenings getting longer and Scala Radio’s second birthday on 4th March, there is no better time to join the 4-7pm slot. Scala Radio is a classical music station like no other, so I am currently poring over the music to select my first piece and can’t wait to hear our listeners choose the ‘Showstoppers’, which close my show every evening.”

Scala Radio’s Group Content Director, Tony Moorey said “I am thrilled to introduce the new line up for Scala Radio. Penny Smith, Mark Forrest and Angellica Bell are a presenting team that will expertly complement the already stellar line up on the station. They will entice new listeners and entertain existing audiences with Scala Radio’s unique take on classical music, along with exciting features in their shows”

In addition to the new schedule changes, Scala Radio has also announced a new Sunday specialist series, Charlie Higson and Friends. The Fast Show’s Charlie Higson previously hosted the 2019 series ‘Charlie Higson’s Playlists’ and will be returning along with some famous pals, including Paul Whitehouse, Bob Mortimer and Arabella Weir. Across April, listeners can enjoy 2 hours of entertainment spent with some lovely music and a couple of familiar and beloved comedy friends as they reflect on life through moments of spontaneous throwaway pleasure.

On Easter Monday, all the way through from 7am – 10pm, Scala Radio will be celebrating the best movie music across the day with ‘All Movies Easter Monday’. Something of an annual tradition at Scala Radio, this will be the third ‘All Movies Easter Monday’, and every hour will feature film scores themed by genre, composer or director, such as superhero movies, Hans Zimmer scores or Steven Spielberg films – as voted for by Scala Radio listeners.

This content follows on from the previously announced March specials, ‘She Scores on Scala Radio in association with The Ivors Academy’ with composers Pinar Toprak, Jessica Curry, Isobel Waller-Bridge and Nainita Desai each hosting their own show about the music that’s inspired them. Scala Radio has also partnered with Donne, the organisation that drives equality, diversity and inclusion across the music industry, to highlight 10 women composers each month who have never been played on the station before, both historic and living.

Scala Radio is also media partner for the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s LPO Moments, showcasing highlights from their Autumn series and Cambridge Film Festival presents ‘A Film I Love…’ featuring special guests choosing one of their favourite films. The series opened with choices from Scala Radio’s Mark Kermode.

The full Scala Radio Spring schedule from April 5th is:


0500 – In The Park

0700 – Charles Nove

1000 – Mark Forrest

1300 – Sam Hughes

1600 – Penny Smith

1900 – Hannah Cox (Darren Redick on Fri)

2200 – The Space


0500 – In The Park

0700 – Hannah Cox

1000 – Angellica Bell

1300 – Mark Kermode

1500 – Simon Mayo

1700 – The Console

1800 – Jack Pepper

2000 – Saturday Night Scala w Darren Redick

2300 – The Space


0500 – In The Park

0700 – Jamie Crick

1000 – Angellica Bell

1300 – Anne Frankenstein

1500 – Alexis Ffrench

1700 – Scala Jukebox

1800 – Specials – She Scores on Scala Radio [March], Charlie Higson and Friends [April]

2000 – Sunday Night Scala w Darren Redick

2200 – The Console [repeat]

2300 – The Space


– ENDS –


For further press information, please contact:

Cat Martin – Bauer Media Communications Director (Radio)
T: 0207 432 3317 M: 07932 746 363

Amelia O’Shea – Bauer Media Communications Manager (Radio)
T: 0207 432 3417 M: 07718 489342

Notes to Editors

About Scala Radio:

Scala Radio is a brand-new entertainment radio station that breaks the mould of classical music in the UK. Presenters include Penny Smith, Angellica Bell, Alexis Ffrench, Mark Kermode, Mark Forrest and Simon Mayo. Alongside familiar masters such as Mozart, Beethoven and Bach, you can expect to hear contemporary works including film, TV and video game scores, showtunes from musicals and instrumental re-workings of pop and rock songs by the likes of Justin Timberlake, Led Zeppelin and Dua Lipa.

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