Eddie Mair, host of Radio 4’s current affairs show PM, has announced he’s leaving the BBC after over 30 years to join commercial news talk radio station LBC.
“It’s 31 years since I joined the BBC, 25 years since I first presented PM, and 20 since it became my main gig,” he said. “I thought this was the appropriate moment to step out and give someone else a chance, before I’m so old my sentences make no lasagne.”
The famously irreverent presenter added: “I’m going to miss the PM team, and Tony Hall’s aftershave. I realise the BBC will close down without me and there will be a run on the pound but I can’t stay in an organisation that refused to let me host Songs of Praise. I bought a jacket and everything.”
Mair added: “I’m truly grateful to the BBC, however for being given more opportunities over the years than I deserved. My apologies to PM listeners for all the things I’ve said that I shouldn’t have, and all the things I should have said that I didn’t. Whoever comes next will be getting the best job in the BBC and I honestly wish them the very best.”
Thank you for all the kind words. I appreciate them. But there are journalists in the world who are being shot, jailed, held hostage or forced to work with @corrie_corfield. I’m only changing jobs. So please do something about them. (Not Corrie. She’s lovely. Mainly)
Speaking about his move to LBC, which he will join in September, Mair said: “LBC has established itself as a ground-breaking broadcaster. Innovative, informed and fun with appointment-to-listen shows and a reputation for setting the agenda, its growth has been driven by bosses and staff who are passionate about radio, which is why I am eager to get started.”
An announcement on Mair’s successor will be made “in due course”, according to the BBC.
Before joining Radio 4’s PM show in 1998, Mair helped the launch of BBC Radio 5 Live in 1994, fronting Midday with Mair.
“Eddie has had a fantastic career at the BBC,” Fran Unsworth, the director of BBC News said. “Over the many years he has been here, he has been hugely popular with the public. He is one of the outstanding broadcasters of his generation and his new employer is very lucky to have him.
“Eddie leaves with our thanks and everyone at the BBC wishes him well for the future.”
Radio Times columnist Mair will talk more about his BBC departure in the upcoming issue of the magazine, out on Tuesday 3rd July.
Anyone not bored rigid already can read more in this week’s @RadioTimes. I have a column there you know. I won’t be doing anything else on account of laziness. Thank you.