Matt Baker is set to leave The One Show, BBC One’s long-running current affairs programme, after announcing the news in an emotional on-air speech.
At the end of Wednesday’s episode, Baker, who has served as one of the series’ main presenters for nine years, addressed the camera, saying he would be leaving early next year. Although this was the presenter’s final appearance before Christmas, he assured fans he would be returning to say goodbye in the New Year.
Baker said in a statement: “I’ve loved that The One Show has been such a big part of my life for the last nine years. It’s been brilliant to showcase the eclectic mix of Britain, meet incredible people along the way and witness so many lives changed with the annual Rickshaw Challenge for Children In Need.
“I’d like to thank all those I’ve worked with over the years and especially you the viewer for showing me so much support during my time on the green sofa.”
The BBC posted a clip of the announcement on Twitter:
Baker has presented the show since 2011, alongside fellow host Alex Jones. Before The One Show, he was known for presenting Blue Peter for seven years, and for finishing in second place on Strictly Come Dancing in 2010.
He is not leaving the BBC altogether as he will keep his place as the host of Countryfile and at the heart of the BBC’s Olympic Games coverage.
“I’m continuing with Countryfile and BBC Sport and excited about other opportunities that come my way,” he said. “But most of all I’m looking forward to having dinner with my family and being able to put my kids to bed.”
There is no word yet on who will be replacing Baker on the series. Previous presenters have included Adrian Chiles, Chris Evans, Jason Manford and Christine Bleakley.
The One Show is on BBC One weekdays at 7pm