The position is one of five new Head of Station roles responsible for the BBC’s pop music networks.
Lorna Clarke said: “Whilst there were many impressive candidates, Helen demonstrated a fresh and clear vision for taking Radio 2 to the next level, and I’m looking forward to working with her in this new role.”
Helen has been Radio 2’s Head of Content Commissioning since 2018, having previously worked as the station’s Network Editor.
Growing up in Hull, Helen started her career in News working at BBC 5 Live, The Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 and then Newsbeat at Radio 1 before moving into music programming at BBC World Service, before returning to Radio 4 to produce Front Row.
In 2003 she joined Radio 2 to produce the Johnnie Walker Drivetime Show, subsequently launching the Chris Evans Drivetime Show in 2006 and Breakfast Show in 2010, when Chris took over from Sir Terry Wogan.
Helen led the first ever BBC Music Pop Up digital radio station (Radio 2 Eurovision) and has also brokered major partnerships with the likes of the RHS, The Space and Art Fund.
Helen was Creative Director of the Radio Academy’s Radio Festival in 2016 and is a founder member of the Young Audio Awards (formerly Young ARIAS) steering committee. In 2018, she was nominated as Individual Of The Year at the Arias.
Helen Thomas said: “I’m thrilled to take on this new role as Radio 2 is the greatest radio station in the world bar none. To be able to seamlessly commemorate VE Day one week and then celebrate Eurovision the next is testament to the skill and talent of our dedicated and passionate presenters as well as our world class production teams – they are the very best in the business.
“The way the audience has responded to their extraordinary efforts over the last few months has proved what a deep connection people right across the UK have with the station. It’s an honour and a privilege to lead Radio 2 through its next exciting chapter.”
It was confirmed earlier this spring that Lewis Carnie, Senior Head of Commissioning for Radio 2, is leaving the BBC this summer.
The recruitment for the four other Head of Station roles (Radio 1, Radio 1Xtra, 6 Music and BBC Asian Network) is ongoing.
There are now two Helen Thomas’ in high profile positions at the BBC, with another Helen Thomas currently serving as Director of England.