Look East presenter Stewart White announces departure live on air

Stewart White, presenter BBC Look East. Photo : Steve Adams

Stewart White, presenter of Look East for 37 years, has announced that he is leaving the BBC. - Credit: Archant

He's spent 37 years reporting the news - but BBC Look East presenter became a headline item himself after announcing live on air that he was leaving the programme. 

The presenter revealed the information at the end of the 6.30pm showing of the news show on Thursday, a decision which he had kept secret from his colleagues.

He said: "Tonight is my last night at the BBC.

"I came here 37 years ago, I've presented 8,000 editions of Look East, and I've loved every minute of it.

"I've worked with lots of talented people and interviewed some of the most powerful people in the land, and I met so many of you who have done great things."

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"There have been nights when I've celebrated success, nights where I held people to account, and nights where I came face to face with the darkest of human nature.

"What matters to me most , and it has mattered every night, is that night after night you have trusted me to tell you what's happening and why.

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"I have never taken that for granted."

The broadcasting giant became presenter of BBC Look East in 1984 and has kept his links with Norfolk strong, presenting weekly programmes for BBC Radio Norfolk.

Mr White has won multiple awards, including the Royal Television Society's award for Regional Television Presenter of the Year in 2013, and again in 2014 for his work on BBC Look East.

In his career, the journalist has interviewed people such as former Prime Minister Edward Heath, actress Joan Collins and singer Michael Jackson - the last journalist in Britain to conduct a live interview with him.

Nigel Pickover, journalist and former editor of the EDP was watching when the announcement was made.

He said: “This was a hugely-emotional surprise farewell from Stewart, one of the stalwarts of the BBC regional news network.

After 8,000 editions he can look back on an incredible innings and I was lucky enough to meet him on many occasions.

"He will have left many in tears with his graceful words - just holding it together at the end of the show.

"A TV gentleman, he was our living room friend, always trusted and honourable."

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