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Emma Barnett to join BBC Radio 4's Today programme

Emma Barnett
Barnett said she would "keep asking the questions that listeners want answers to" in her new role

Emma Barnett is to leave Woman's Hour in April for a new role presenting BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

She will ultimately replace Martha Kearney, who previously announced she would leave the morning news programme after the next general election.

Barnett said she was "delighted to be joining a programme that occupies such a unique space in British life".

The presenter will also front documentaries and set piece interviews for the BBC as part of her new role.

In a statement, she said: "We are living in volatile times where sometimes even asking a question can seem risky - wrongly so.

"My ambition on the Today programme is to keep asking the questions that listeners want answers to - as well as raising many smiles along the way - while armed with a very strong cup of tea."

She added: "My time on Woman's Hour means a great deal to me and I want to thank the team and our mighty army of listeners for how much we have shared - the joy, wisdom, sorrow and sometimes sheer rage."

Barnett will join Amol Rajan, Mishal Husain, Justin Webb and Nick Robinson as one of Today's main presenters.

Deborah Turness, CEO of BBC News, said: "Emma is a formidable, fearless and ferociously intelligent journalist and I'm delighted that she will be showcasing her considerable talents across all of BBC News' platforms.

"Emma will bring her unique energy and verve to our brilliant team of Today presenters - every day they ask the questions that need answering, and host the UK's most important conversation."

Martha Kearney and Mishal Husain presenting Radio 4's Today programme
Martha Kearney (pictured left with Mishal Husain) joined the Today programme in 2018

Barnett began presenting Woman's Hour in 2021, following the departure of Jane Garvey and Dame Jenni Murray.

Anita Rani filled the other presenting position and continues to host the programme on Fridays and Saturdays.

Barnett previously fronted a mid-morning programme BBC Radio 5 Live programme and was part of the presenting line-up of Newsnight.

Kearney, who joined Today in 2018, announced last month she would leave the programme and front a new nature series on the station.

In a statement at the time, she said: "I am really looking forward to sharing my passion for nature in an exciting new series as well as a much-loved favourite programme," she continued. "And I won't be missing that 3am alarm call."