Shock as BBC presenter announces retirement live on air
Listeners were given a shock when long-serving BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Wally Webb announced his retirement live on air.
Mr Webb was a guest on Kirsteen Thorne’s breakfast show on Saturday morning (November 7) when he surprised the audience with the news that he will quit the station after his final broadcast on January 2. 2021.
He said: “It’s something that I’ve been contemplating for a little while now but who would’ve imagined this year would’ve been the way it was?
“But the way it’s all turned out, I’ve decided that after 40 plus years it’s time that I retired and let some of the young guns get in there as well, if you know what I mean.”
Mr Webb will be latest in a line of big-name departures as BBC Norfolk resuffles its packs.
In recent weeks, it has been announced that Inside Out presenter David Whiteley has left, while Look East chief reporter Kim Riley and stalwart radio presenter Keith Skues have retired. Radio presenter Chrissie Jackson took voluntary redundancy.
Mr Webb had been reminiscing about his first ever moment on Radio Norfolk, back on September 14 1980, when he played AC/DC as his first track, before making the announcement.
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In terms of his retirement, he said he would be looking to spend “more time on the Broads” which is something he had missed this year due to the coronavirus lockdowns.
Following Mr Webb’s announcement, Kirsteen Thorne said it had been “an honour and a privilege” to have worked alongside him.
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She said she had learned so much from Wally who she described as an “absolute master of your craft”.
She added: “You’re a stalwart of radio and have been for 40 years”.
Mr Webb grew up in Manchester but later moved to Norfolk when he left the RAF, where together with other staff he had worked on a mobile disco called Solarscope, to pursue a career in radio.
Following a stint at Hospital Radio Norwich and a stint as resident DJ at Scamps in Anglia Square in Norwich from 1975 to 1980 Mr Webb started on Radio Norfolk where he has remained ever since.
In March this year, Mr Webb moved from the early morning show on BBC Radio Norfolk, to presenting on-air on the breakfast and mid-morning shows, reporting in the Verv satellite vehicle Tuesday to Saturday.