BBC Radio Leeds mid-morning presenter Alex Belfield has left the station after less than a year, saying he wasn't up to the job.
Alex – who has made his name doing celebrity interviews – says the BBC wanted him to stay but also told him he they wanted the show to have a more serious news-style to it.
Belfield finished his show at 12noon as normal, telling listeners he would be 'back tomorrow at 9 o'clock' but within an hour posted on his Facebook page that he had left the station. "I couldn't do this show for another 2 years as I'd planned with content I didn't believe in," he wrote. "The bosses made it clear they wanted me to stay but it has been obvious for months that I'm not best suited to their news styly."
He added: "Mid Morning has been great fun but it's now under BBC News management and I'm an old turn from the north and basically a comic that likes doing great interviews…..they basically want a more serious and sensible journalist and that doesn't play to my strengths. In truth I simply wasn't up to the job. I'm not a journalist, never have been and frankly don't want to be!"
Alex [link=https://radiotoday.co.uk/news.php?extend.6521]hit the headlines last year[/link] when he was suspended for a day by the BBC and forced to apologise after making lewd comments on-air to a weather presenter.
Today, he told us: "Ultimately the show was the biggest success for the station in 6 years! Their figures have been in terminal decline and I was the first mid-morning presenter to change that. I wish them well finding a show that can build on my success."
He says the show's audience has grown by 30,000 in a year, making it the sixth most popular programme in that timeslot across all BBC local stations.
A spokesperson for BBC Radio Leeds told RadioToday.co.uk: "We can confirm that mid-morning presenter Alex Belfield left the BBC today (Tues, March 8). We would like to thank Alex for his valued contribution over the last 10 months and wish him all the best for the future. His replacement will be announced in due course."