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BBC Breakfast star says sad goodbye as long-running show undergoes major rebrand

Ben Thompson hosted the last edition of World Business Report on Tuesday

Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
May 9, 2024
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BBC Breakfast star Ben Thompson marked the end of an era on the BBC on Tuesday as he said goodbye to the long-running news show World Business Report, which has undergone a major rebrand.

At the end of the programme's final show, Ben told viewers: "After more than 30 years, we're going to say goodbye to World Business Report. It's had quite a few different looks over the years…but it's time for a new look and a new name."

WATCH: Ben Thompson says goodbye to iconic show after 30 years

He continued: "Business Today is what we'll be called from later today, all you need to know about money, markets, finance, tech, travel, and trade. Business Today here, on BBC News. But for one final time, from me and the team, you've been watching World Business Report."

Ben, who has been a presenter on BBC World News since 2010, also shared the news on social media in April, writing: "After nearly 30 years, we're saying goodbye to 'World Business Report'. It's had a few different looks and more than a few different presenters. But it's time for a change. Out with the old, and in with the err, old. 'Business Today' makes a welcome return to @BBCNews next week."

Ben Thompson hosting World Business Report© @BenThompsonTV/X
Ben Thompson hosted the final edition of World Business Report on Tuesday

Fans were just as sad to see the programme end, with one person writing on social media: "Sad to see WBR go! It was my first live TV interview with @SallyBundockBBC. Look forward to speaking with you & all the team on Business Today!"

A second viewer penned: "The final World Business Report went out earlier. Goodbye WBR! I shall miss the Blue," while another added: "Oh no! End of an era.. but welcome back, Business Today!!"

Ben Thompson and Sally Nugent on BBC Breakfast © BBC
Ben is known for hosting BBC News and BBC Breakfast

One of the show's former presenters Richard Quest also reacted to the news. "My gosh. So many years ago. And what brilliant broadcasting we did. (Making it up as we went along)," he penned, adding: "WBR was the first BBC News daily show broadcast from OUTSIDE UK. Seems quaint now; back then 1995+ we had to fight every bit of the way to get it done."

World Business Report was first broadcast back in 1995 and hosted by Sally Bundock and Victoria Valentine. The show has seen various relief presenters over the years, including Nancy Kacungira, Ben Boulos, Samantha Simmonds, Aaron Heslehurst and Alice Baxter.

Victoria Valentine on BBC News© BBC
Victoria Valentine has also hosted the show over the years

As well as BBC News, Ben often appears on BBC Breakfast as a relief presenter. The daily news show is fronted by Jon Kay, Sally Nugent, Naga Munchetty and Charlie Stayt. 

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