Matt Baker became visibly emotional as he confirmed he is leaving The One Show after nine years. The TV star, who will step down in the spring, fought back tears as he revealed the news during Wednesday’s episode. Sharing the reasons for his decision, Matt, 41, said he was excited about new career opportunities, but added, "most of all, I'm looking forward to spending evenings with my wife Nicola, and finally getting to put my kids to bed". Appearing alongside one of his co-hosts Angelina Bell, Matt told viewers: "At this time of year, I like to take stock and reflect. The One Show has been a massive part of my life for almost a decade now and I have loved every second of being a part of it. But I am going to be leaving this green sofa in the spring.
Matt Baker shares two children with his wife Nicola
"It's time to give somebody else the opportunity to see how big-hearted and generous you, our One Show viewers, really are. It's something I get to witness every year when you help to change the lives of so many vulnerable youngsters with the Rickshaw Challenge for Children in Need. You know all that support that you show us, you will never really understand just how much that means to me. And so, I'd like to thank you and I'd like to pay a huge tribute to all of those who have ridden over the last nine years."
He continued: "Of course I'd like to thank Alex, who I've shared this sofa with for all these years. And the teams of people who work on this show all around the UK, the ones who you do not get to see; the researchers, the producers, the studio crew, everyone that makes this show feel like a massive family. And I'm going to miss you all very much indeed. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart."
Matt will continue to present Countryfile and BBC sports coverage, with his One Show replacement announced in due course. The former Blue Peter presenter joined The One Show in February 2011, replacing comedian Jason Manford. He later took over as a main presenter alongside The One Show regular Alex Jones and quickly became one of the talk show's most popular hosts.
Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, said: "I would like to thank Matt for his nine years presenting The One Show, he has given so much to the show over that time. His warmth and wit have helped to create many magical moments on the sofa. He has a great connection with BBC One viewers and will continue to play an important role on the channel on Sunday nights in Countryfile and with BBC Sport on our Gymnastics coverage. We look forward to working with him on other programmes in the future."