Great Railway Journeys host Michael Portillo has signed up as a presenter for Times Radio.
The former Conservative Cabinet Minister is joining the roster of presenters for the station’s summer launch.
Portillo is one of Britain’s best-known broadcasters. He’ll present a weekly Friday evening show which represents the broad range of his interests and specialisms.
The show will look at cultural highlights from the weekend ahead; showcase the best of The Times’ journalism; and review the week in politics with guests from across the political divide.
A former Conservative MP and Secretary of State for Defence, Portillo is a familiar, expert and friendly face to the public.
He has fronted many radio and television documentaries on a wide range of subjects.
They include the hugely popular Great Railway Journeys series for BBC Two. That gig began around Britain twelve years ago and has now led to Michael travelling much of the globe on his historical quests.
Portillo is also a political commentator. He was a columnist for The Sunday Times for six years and a fixture on BBC One’s This Week for sixteen years.
“I’m thrilled that Michael will be joining the station” Tim Levell, Times Radio Programme Director, said.
“Times Radio is all about warm, engaging, expert presenters, and Michael exemplifies that mix.
“His personality and passion shine through in everything he does.
“Listeners will love hearing him and his guests talk about everything from the latest show in the West End to that week’s goings-on in Parliament. I can’t wait to listen!”
Commenting on his new role, Portillo said: “I’m delighted to join the UK’s most exciting new radio station.
“It is a pleasure to be back working for The Times and The Sunday Times; by-words for quality journalism.
“My aim is to produce an entertaining and informative show that will engage listeners.”
Portillo joins a quality line-up of presenters already announced. They include Aasmah Mir and Stig Abell (at breakfast from Monday to Thursday); Luke Jones and Jenny Kleeman (at breakfast Friday to Sunday); Matt Chorley (mid-mornings from Monday to Thursday) and John Pienaar (at drive from Monday to Thursday).
The station will launch this summer and broadcast on DAB, online and via app and smart speakers.
The station will be ad break-free, with commercial opportunities for sponsors across the schedule.
More presenter names will be announced in the weeks to come.