John Humphrys announces plans to quit Today programme

By Alex Green, Press Association Entertainment Reporter

John Humphrys plans to quit the Today programme this year after 32 years fronting the early-morning broadcast.

The veteran broadcaster, 75, told the Daily Mail he had not yet handed in his notice but planned to do so.

He said it was not easy leaving such a long-standing role but admitted he was no longer an “ambitious youngster with many, many more challenges ahead” of him.

John Humphrys at work on BBC Radio 4 Today (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)

Asked by the newspaper whether he knew when he would retire from the BBC Radio 4 flagship programme, he replied: “I’m assuming it’ll be this year. That’s what I’m assuming, but I haven’t fixed a date.

“It’s not easy to leave a job you’ve been doing for 32 years. It’s more than half my professional life.

“It’s not like I’m an ambitious youngster with many, many more challenges ahead of me or something like that.

“I’ve always taken the view — and this is the problem in a way — that I would carry on doing it either until they threw me out or had enough of me, or that I’d got bored of it or stopped enjoying it.

“None of those things has happened.”

John Humphrys and Evan Davis during Today’s first broadcast at its new home in New Broadcasting House (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)

Humphrys joined Today in January 1987, alongside Brian Redhead, but continued to work on other BBC news programmes.

His departure could trigger a shake-up on the show.

In 2017 Humphrys was at the centre of the debate surrounding the gender pay gap at the BBC, during which he was revealed as one of the corporation’s biggest earners.

At the time he was taking home more than half a million pounds.

The BBC declined to comment on the report.