Familiar face from BBC Look East retires after 38 years

BBC Look East reporter Kim Riley, pictured in 2005. Picture: Antony Kelly

BBC Look East reporter Kim Riley, pictured in 2005. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: Evening News © 2005

A familiar face on television screens in the region has given his final broadcast - after more than 30 years reporting for the BBC.

Kim Riley from BBC Look East interviews Martin Bell after Mr Bell's launch bid to become an independ

Kim Riley from BBC Look East interviews Martin Bell after Mr Bell's launch bid to become an independent MEP for the eastern region at the Scole Inn Photo - Denise - Credit: EDP, Archant

This week, BBC Look East reporter Kim Riley retired from the role he has held dear for 38 years - which saw him report on a huge range of issues affecting the East, from grisly murders to light human interest tales.

Mr Riley, 70, was born in Brighton and began his journalism career in print for the Falmouth Packet, before moving into broadcasting with the BBC in 1979 at Radio Brighton.

In 1982 he landed a role at Look East, where he remained for the rest of his career, retiring on Wednesday at the age of 70, having become a recognisable face to viewers and fellow journalists alike.

He said: “Starting at Look East, I had no real roots in East Anglia, but have certainly developed them over the years. I’ll really miss the fantastic teams I have worked with and the office banter.

BBC Look East reporter Kim Riley, pictured with wife Mary-Jane in 2015. Picture: Sonya Duncan

BBC Look East reporter Kim Riley, pictured with wife Mary-Jane in 2015. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015


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“So much has changed over the time I’ve been in broadcasting - if you’d have told me at the very beginning we would be able to do outside broadcasts I’d have thought you were mad.”

Mr Riley, who was previously based in Aylsham but now lives in Mellis, near Eye in Suffolk with his wife Mary-Jane, said that it was not always the biggest stories that have stuck with him from a personal point of view.

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He said: “You do remember the big ones - for example following the Soham murders from the very beginning all the way through to the trial will never leave me.

“However, the ones that really stay with you the most are the personal stories - talking to families who have been through incredible ordeals. You see such dignity, such bravery, and I’m not ashamed to say there were times when I was the other side of the camera with tears streaming down my face.”

BBC Look East reporter Kim Riley, pictured after having difficulties with his car locking system in

BBC Look East reporter Kim Riley, pictured after having difficulties with his car locking system in Lowestoft. Photo: Shaun Whitmore. - Credit: Archant

Mr Riley added: “I was incredibly lucky to be able to cover a huge range of things during my time at BBC Look East and had incredible support - but I’m now 70 and the industry is going through such change that I felt it was the right time for me to go.”

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