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'Legendary' BBC presenter steps down from role 50 years after joining BBC

Garry Richardson will mark the end of an era in September 

The BBC logo is seen at the entrance at Broadcasting House, the BBC headquarters in central London.
Megan Bull
TV Writer
11 April 2024
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BBC legend Garry Richardson is stepping down from Today on Radio 4. After reporting on sports stories for 43 years, the renowned journalist has announced his decision to leave the programme. 

"I have had the most wonderful time working for the BBC alongside my heroes from sport and showbusiness," he began. "I'll still be broadcasting from time to time, the only difference will be I won't be setting my alarm for 2.45am and that's a lovely thought."

Garry Richardson celebrated BBC Radio 4's Today's 60th anniversary© Getty
Garry Richardson has announced his decision to leave Today

Following Garry's first ever appearance on Today in March 1981, the 68-year-old will headline his last show on September 9 2024, which will be exactly 50 years to the day that he joined the BBC. 

Supporting his decision, Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, said: "Garry is a legendary presenter. So many of us have woken up to him bringing the latest sporting news for over four decades. 

Garry Richardson working on Today© Getty
The journalist joined the BBC on 9 September 1974

"He has brought wisdom, insight and a smile to every broadcast. On behalf of all of us, I'd like to thank Garry for everything he has done, fifty years at the BBC is an incredible milestone."

Fans have also reacted to the news online, with many expressing their surprise on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Really sad to hear that Garry Richardson will no longer be doing the sports bulletins on @BBCr4today after 50 years at the corporation. Such a good journalist," wrote one. 

"Garry Richardson has combined humour and humility on the radio my whole life. I can't believe he's going. What an institution," penned another. 

Garry joined the BBC on 9 September 1974, after being appointed as a junior researcher at the BBC Written Archives Centre at Caversham.

During his decade-spanning career, Garry has also appeared on BBC Radio Solent, Radio Oxford, Radio Merseyside and Radio Nottingham. Former U.S President Bill Clinton, Dionne Warwick, former South African President Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Samuel L Jackson and Arnold Schwarzenegger are among his ever-expanding list of interviewees.

Jeff Brown holding a BBC Sports ball© BBC
Jeff Brown recently stepped down from his role on BBC's Look North after 20 years

Garry isn't the only BBC legend to have stepped down from a presenting role in recent months. Just last month, Jeff Brown confirmed his decision to exit Look North after 20 years. 

"News just in…after nearly 21yrs with BBC Look North ⁦ @BBCLN I'm moving on. Projects in the pipeline with BBC & others, but (as you can see) it's been fun, and a huge, wonderful part of my life. Thanks for watching," he explained on social media. 

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Echoing this sentiment in an official statement with the BBC, Jeff wrote: "Presenting BBC Look North - filling the seat once occupied by the great Mike Neville - has been the undoubted highlight of my career, something I could never have imagined when I set out as a journalist.

"It has been an absolute pleasure and a privilege to work with such talented and dedicated teams over the years, and I'm proud to count them as my friends. I'm also truly grateful to the many people and organisations across the North East and Cumbria who have allowed me to tell their stories, and to be welcomed into hundreds of thousands of homes every night."

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