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Media captionZoe Ball starts her role as the Radio 2 Breakfast show presenter

Zoe Ball has begun her tenure as BBC Radio 2’s first female weekday breakfast host by playing Aretha Franklin’s Respect as her first song.

“It had to be a dame on this occasion,” she told listeners.

Ball has taken over from Chris Evans in the most listened-to slot on the UK airwaves.

She began Monday’s show with the words: “Hello, my name is Zoe. How’s your belly off for spots? Good morning Radio 2 superstar listeners, here we go.”

The saying “How’s your belly off for spots?” is an alternative way of asking: “How are you?”

Image caption Ball with travel presenter Richie Anderson (left) and sport journalist Mike Williams

Early reviews for the show were positive, with The Daily Telegraph awarding it four stars.

“The really good news is that Ball was sparky and friendly, and not at all cheesy, braggy or shouty,” wrote Charlotte Runcie.

“Her conspiratorial tone of voice made for a truly refreshing change from the louder Evans era.

“And, as the show drew to a close, I found myself thinking a welcome thought: actually, I haven’t felt this at home on Radio 2 since the days of Wogan.”

Image caption Her first guests were John Cleese and Nadiya Hussain

Ball inherits about nine million listeners from Evans and told listeners he sent her a “lovely message” on Sunday night.

Evans will start his new rival show on Virgin Radio next week.

Referring to messages of support sent by fans before the show, Ball said: “It’s been really wonderful for all of us. It’s been really positive.”

And she received some good early feedback from listeners on Twitter.

Source: BBC