Zoe Ball has dismissed the idea she landed the Radio 2 Breakfast Show because of her gender.
The broadcaster, 48, is taking over the flagship programme from Chris Evans on January 14.
Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson said this week that men can no longer get jobs at the BBC, saying, “anyone who has got a scrotum” will struggle to land a presenting gig at the corporation.
However, Ball does not believe her gender is the reason she got the job.
She told the Daily Mirror: “I’ve always felt all the jobs I’ve ever got are on merit. I’m such a Beeb girl, they’ve always been great to me.
“I’ve worked at ITV and Channel 4, but the BBC has always felt like home. I really hope everyone says, ‘She got the job as she was the right person’.”
Ball will earn less than Evans for the Radio 2 job, who received £1.6 million a year from the BBC, however she is in line for a substantial pay rise from her previous jobs as a TV and radio presenter with the broadcaster.
Her salary will be revealed in the BBC’s annual report later this year. Ball said she is pleased with what the BBC offered her.
“I do think, of course, that women and men should be paid the same. And I do know that within the BBC, they are doing everything they can to address that issue”, she added.
Ball’s first show will be on Monday January 14 and she will be joined journalist and presenter Tina Daheley, who was announced as the programme’s newsreader.
She joins travel news presenter Richie Anderson and sports presenter Mike Williams.
Evans is returning to commercial radio with a show on Virgin.