TV3 confirms Vincent Browne will sign off for the final time this summer
Broadcaster TV3 has confirmed today that Vincent Browne will be stepping down as presenter of the Tonight programme from the end of July
His retirement from the show comes after a decade at the helm of the current affairs programme.
"He is doing so for personal reasons," a spokeswoman said.
"Vincent Browne is recognised as one of Ireland’s most renowned and respected journalists and is known for his no-nonsense style of interviewing and his ability to give viewers a voice during turbulent economic and political unrest.
Bill Malone, Director of Programming at TV3 paid tribute to the broadcaster's professionalism.
“Vincent has made an extraordinary contribution to Irish journalism and to Irish broadcasting. As the presenter of the Tonight Show, Vincent encapsulated the mood of the nation during unprecedented economic and political turmoil. His commitment to highlighting inequality and injustices in Irish life has been unwavering over his journalistic career," he said.
Viewers have reacted with dismay that Browne, often cited as Ireland's answer to Jeremy Paxman, is signing off for the final time.
The broadcaster, who turns 73 this month, has struggled with health problems and has previously taken time off.
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In June 2014, he was admitted to St Vincent's Hospital after a bout of pneumonia.
A source said he was "worn out and completely drained".
As a result, he had to take leave from the programme for the whole summer in order to recover properly.
He was forced to take more time off in February last year, meaning he played no part in TV3's general election coverage. At the time, he said: "I've got to deal with a respiratory health problem and I've got to take time off, unfortunately, over the next while during the election."