The World Tonight presenter Robin Lustig to leave Radio 4 after 23 years

The long-serving broadcaster and journalist, who also hosts Newshour, is the station's third high-profile departure this month

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Broadcaster and journalist Robin Lustig is to step down as presenter of The World Tonight and Newshour after 23 years at BBC Radio 4.

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Lustig currently takes charge three nights a week on The World Tonight, one of the programmes new Director General George Entwistle told Radio Times helped trigger his fascination with the BBC, at the age of 12.

Lustig’s departure will leave the first news vacancy under Entwistle and could test his recent promise to pursue opportunities to get more older people and female into presenting jobs at the Corporation.

“The key here is to take every opportunity that arises – whenever there is a possibility of putting in a new female presenter in to do jobs in the news, we should look for it and take it if we can,” Entwistle told Radio 4’s Today programme.

Lustig, 64, is the third high-profile departure from the station this month, following the announcement that its two longest serving newsreaders, Charlotte Green and Harriet Cass, are taking voluntary redundancy and will join Lustig in leaving at the end of the year.

Lustig said he intended to pursue new projects, and would start “a new chapter as all new chapters should be started: with a blank page”.

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“It has been a fantastic time doing foreign news and it’s going to be very hard to leave,” he added. “I just think the time is right.”