BBC Breakfast anchor Bill Turnbull has announced he is leaving the show after 15 years to spend more time with his wife and his "neglected" bees. The 59-year-old, who will walk away in early 2016, told the Mirror that his tenure was "more than enough for me and the audience. So it is a good time to call it a day and do something else".
He added: "It was a long-term decision. I could see this coming up and it was always the plan. I'll leave early next year. There is some sadness, but no regrets."
Bill, who moved to the north when BBC Breakfast relocated to Salford, said he plans to move to Suffolk with wife Sarah and spend more time on his favourite hobby, bee-keeping. "I've been neglecting my bees for far too long," the TV host said. "They are on a farm, they were going to come up here to the Lakes where we live but it was too windy.
"We are going to move to Suffolk with a bit of luck, it is where we have got family and friends. We have got to know Suffolk quite well in the last years and we like it so we are planning on moving there."
The father-of-three admitted that his daily 3am alarm call was a further incentive to leave. "You get hardened to it and I have done it thousands of times and it still never gets any easier," he added.
Bill joined BBC Breakfast as a reporter in 1988 and was later asked to take the presenting chair in 2001.
Really really going to miss my lovely wonderful friend @billtu xxx— Carol Kirkwood (@carolkirkwood) September 2, 2015
BBC Breakfast editor Adam Bullimore paid tribute to Bill saying he "is a huge part of the BBC Breakfast success story and will leave a big gap on the sofa when he leaves next year".
"He is massively popular with our viewers who love the way he is able to deliver serious news but also bring them a smile as they get up and get ready in the morning."
The BBC said it will announces any changes to the presenter line-up "in due course".
Breakfast weather presenter Carol Kirkwood, who is currently rehearsing for Strictly, tweeted to say she was "really really going to miss my lovely wonderful friend".