Presenter beats off competition from hot favourite Mark Kermode
TV presenter Claudia Winkleman has been named the surprise choice to succeed Jonathan Ross as the new host of Film 2010.
Winkleman, 38, who currently has her own weekly arts show on BBC Radio 2 and has presented Sky‘s Oscar‘s coverage for the last four years, had been an outside bet for the role, with BBC 5live and The Observer film critic Mark Kermode considered the bookies’ favourite.
Others rumoured to be in the running were Guardian TV critic Charlie Brooker, and Heat TV editor Boyd Hilton.
“I am completely over the moon about being given this enormous honour,” said Winkleman, who will begin her her new role in September.
She added: “Everyone has an opinion on film and I’m looking forward to debating the biggest news and releases with a whole variety of guests each week. I am incredibly proud to be to be presenting the new look Film 2010. It’s an honour to follow on from the brilliant Jonathan Ross.
“I have been lucky enough to cover the Baftas and present the UK broadcasts of the Oscars and the Golden Globes for years and now to be able to work with the producers on Film 2010 is just amazing.”
Though the choice has surprised some film fans, there was known to be disquiet inside the BBC about Kermode – a cinephile who perhaps lacked the populist taste for a mainstream BBC One audience.
Indeed, ex-NME film reviewer Kermode had all-but ruled himself out of the role last Friday.
“I’m not doing Film 2010,” he said. “There was all this nonsense in the press about the BBC grooming Kermode and it’s not true. Since then there’s been all this stuff in the bookies. They’ve never asked me, they’ve never approached me, nor indeed would they – and I wouldn’t expect them to.”
He added: “The thing with that programme is it requires a mainstream sensibility. If you were doing that programme, why would you get that bloke who says 3D is a con? It’s very sweet of people, but I promise you I am nothing to do with Film Whatever It Is. Please bookies, stop putting odds on me. I’m interested in seeing what they do, but that’s it.”