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James May to host BBC 6 Music rock show

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Top Gear - James May

© Rex Features

Top Gear's James May and Channel 4 presenter Ruth Watson will showcase the music they love this month as guest hosts on BBC 6 Music, it has been announced.

The digital station, which is facing the axe under BBC plans, will host a series of special presenters in its regular programming over the remainder of April.

Tomorrow, The Sun's Bizarre editor Gordon Smart will take over from Steve Lamacq on the Roundtable feature, where three guests discuss the week's music releases.

"I've always been a big fan of Roundtable on 6 Music. I've been lucky enough to be asked on as a guest with Steve Lamacq before, so it's a real honour to get a chance to host the gig myself," said Smart.

"When I was last on we talked about an unknown band called Glasvegas and they've done alright for themselves since then. Some great music is lined up and we've got three excellent guests. I can't wait to give this radio caper a good crack."

On April 23, James May will take over from Bruce Dickinson on the Friday Night Rock Show. The Top Gear presenter intends to play a selection of classic rock songs, including the likes of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson and Jethro Tull.

"I've never had a whole radio show to myself and I'm very much looking forward to inflicting the soundtrack of my youth on the nation," said May.

Despite Dickinson due to leave the show at the end of April, the BBC said that May's appearance will be strictly for "one night only".

Ruth Watson, who fronts Country House Rescue for Channel 4, will take over from Craig Charles on the Funk & Soul Show on April 24.

"It's such a thrill to be given the chance to stand in for Craig and I can't wait to play some of my own favourite tunes," she said.

On April 25, The Wright Stuff presenter Matthew Wright will step in for Stuart Maconie on the Freak Zone programme. Former Radio 2 host Wright will present a playlist of esoteric music, including tracks taken from his own record collection.

"I think some listeners will find my choices surprising. Others might find them alarming! People naturally make assumptions about you when you work in TV - they think they know the real you. Well, we'll see!" he said.

"Doing the Freak Zone will give me the chance to show there's more to Matthew Wright than the camp, gurning fool you can see on The Wright Stuff."

Welcoming the guest presenters, 6 Music editor Paul Rodgers said: "Celebrity takeovers are fairly commonplace in radio, but at 6 Music, we wanted to add a bit more of a challenge to the usual celebrity plus a bunch of songs format.

"We wanted to find people who were able to demonstrate their passion and knowledge about music on our specialist music shows. Quite a tall order but having seen the music our celebrity guests plan to play, I think listeners will be impressed."

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