Transgender broadcaster Stephanie Hirst lands BBC radio show
Trans radio host Stephanie Hirst will make history as the first out transgender host of a full-time BBC local radio show.
The popular Yorkshire radio presenter, who previously hosted the ‘Hirsty’s Daily Dose’ breakfast show on Capital FM Yorkshire, abruptly left the airwaves when she came out as trans in 2014.
Four years later, Ms Hirst is now set to make a full-time radio comeback, hosting the mid-morning programme on rival station BBC Radio Leeds.
The Stephanie Hirst Show, broadcast from 9 AM until 12 PM, will “celebrate all-things Yorkshire, mixing great music, entertainment and big-name guests”.
Stephanie said: “I’m beyond excited to be on air again in Yorkshire. I feel like I’m going back to where I belong.”
Since coming out as trans, her career has taken her through stints on ITV’s Lorraine, Channel 4 and BBC Breakfast.
Returning to the airwaves in Yorkshire, Stephanie Hirst will be the first transgender presenter to front a daily daytime show on BBC radio.
Ms Hirst added: “I’m really looking forward to joining the team at BBC Radio Leeds.
“I’ve loved radio ever since I first stepped into a studio aged 12 and I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve been able to build a career doing what I adore.
“After four exciting years of change, I can’t wait to get back to doing what I love the most, talking to the people of Yorkshire on the radio.”
Sanjiv Buttoo, Editor of BBC Radio Leeds, said: “Stephanie is back – and she’s on Radio Leeds. She’s one of the biggest names in the radio industry and I’m really thrilled that she’s joining my team of talented producers, reporters and presenters.
“We know she’s popular with our listeners from the fantastic feedback we’ve already received when she stood in on the mid-morning show last year and we can’t wait for her to join us.”
Stephanie Hirst will present her first show on April 3.
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It was previously alleged that Ms Hirst was let go from her Capital FM show in 2014 after Global bosses voiced concerns about her gender identity being discussed on-air.
The BBC published a letter addressed to Ms Hirst and signed by the Executive Director of Global Radio, Richard Park, that states the company “did not think gender reassignment was suitable or commercially viable content” for shows.
It goes on to say: “We have a responsibility for your well-being, and having considered the matter we are not satisfied that going through this process ‘on air’ is in your best interests.”
Responding to the allegations at the time, Global Radio said in a statement: “Hirsty made the decision to take time out to focus on the process he was going through.
“We were sad to see Hirsty leave but we were happy to offer him our full support. We wish Stephanie all the best in the future. It’s standard practice in radio for presenters to come off air once they’ve made a decision to leave.”