SIMON Mayo is in talks to quit BBC Radio 2 because he is furious about being lumbered with Jo Whiley on his drivetime show by PC bosses.
The Sun can reveal the star DJ is negotiating with Global Radio about joining easy listening station Smooth Radio in a mega money deal.
Global hopes to turn Smooth, which features presenters including Kate Garraway and Myleene Klass, into a national network if changes to radio regulation are introduced by Ofcom later this year.
But the move would spark panic at the Beeb as the award-winning presenter would become the third household name to quit BBC radio stations, following Eddie Mair’s decision to jump ship to LBC and Chris Evans’ move to Virgin Radio’s breakfast show.
A top radio source said: “Simon has held talks about joining Smooth FM. Global would love to take the station national but will need really big names at breakfast and drivetime.
“Simon fits that bill and is also deeply unhappy with the current situation at the BBC.
“He was an incredibly successful broadcaster with huge ratings who was essentially forced into having a female co-host in Jo because it helped with a gender imbalance.”
We revealed in June that Mayo, who is 60, was considering walking from the BBC over their refusal to consider moving Whiley to her own slot.
The move was an attempt by bosses to introduce more female DJs onto the male-dominated schedule – but has sparked outrage from listeners over the lack of chemistry between the pair.
Yesterday, it was revealed Global Radio has poached BBC Radio 1 Xtra star DJ Semtex, who had been with the corporation for 15 years, to host a new show on Capital Xtra.
However, last night sources close to Mayo denied the move to Smooth would happen.