After 21 years, James Naughtie said his final goodbyes at the end of his last Today Programme on BBC Radio 4.
“It is a moment of change,” he said, thanking listeners and explaining how he’s enjoyed the good times and even ‘getting things wrong’ – making reference to his blooper about the Culture Secretary.
Co-host John Humphrys told James he will miss him, to which James replied modestly that another programme ends but another day begins. Listen to his best bits here.
During the show today, James interviewed former Prime Minister John Major who paid tribute to the broadcaster. John said: “Like millions of other people I have found you and John part of our daily diet for a very long time, so if I may grab the airwaves for a moment I’d like to say I’ll miss you”
“Generally you’ve asked the right questions, mostly you’ve listened to the answers, and you’ve done it in an extraordinarily professional way so I hope as you leave you’re proud of what you’ve done.”
James Naughtie was also trending on Twitter this morning, second only to a One Direction hash tag. Hundreds of listeners tweeted how they would miss him, and thanked him for ‘all the news’.
James’ final words? “From John and from Me, Good Morning.”
— Dave McMullan (@radiosdavemac) December 16, 2015
From next month, James will continue to be heard on Today but also other Radio 4 programmes. He’ll write and present radio documentaries and continue to anchor the overnight coverage of elections, and the EU referendum, on BBC Radio.
He is also being appointed as BBC News Books Editor. This will involve presenting a regular book review for the Today programme on a Saturday morning.
James Naughtie joined Today in 1994 following the death of Brian Redhead, having spent six years as presenter of The World at One, where he succeeded Sir Robin Day. He has anchored every election results programme for BBC Radio since 1997, worked on every US presidential election since 1988, covered Papal installations, D-Day commemorations and been the voice of important national events, including the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. He was in Egypt for the Cairo Revolution, Japan for the tsunami, Hong Kong for the hand back to China, and Iraq in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion.