Zoe Ball was ''so excited'' to kick off her BBC Radio 2 breakfast show on Monday (14.01.19).

The 48-year-old presenter - who is the flagship programme's first female host - played Aretha Franklin's 'Respect'' as her first song and admitted she felt ''ready'' for ''the big day'' ahead.

She began the programme by saying: ''Hello. My name is Zoe. How's your belly off for spots? Good morning Radio 2 superstar listeners, here we go.

''And, relax. After all the build-up, and the chat and the preamble, the big day is finally here. We are so super-excited. I'm ready.

''Welcome to the first ever Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, I've been so excited about saying that.''

Thanking listeners for their support before she made her debut, she said: '''It's been really wonderful for all of us, it's been really positive.''

And of her song choice, she explained: ''It had to be a dame on this occasion.''

Zoe took over the show from Chris Evans and revealed he had sent her a ''lovely message'' on Sunday (13.01.19) evening.

Her first guests on the programme were John Cleese and Nadiya Hussain, who brought in a cake in the shape of a full English breakfast to mark the occasion.

Ahead of her debut on the show, the former weekend breakfast DJ had promised to get the balance right between music and ''enough'' chat, as well as making sure her listeners learned something from the programme.

She previously said: ''The thing we really wanna do is bring lots of music, lots of energy, not too much chat - but enough, and we want people to have learned something by the end of the show.''

Chris will return to the airwaves with his new Virgin Radio show next week.