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Dame Jenni Murray leaving Woman’s Hour after 33 years

She became the regular presenter of the BBC Radio 4 programme in 1987.


Dame Jenni Murray (Joel Ryan/PA)

Dame Jenni Murray (Joel Ryan/PA)

Dame Jenni Murray (Joel Ryan/PA)

Dame Jenni Murray is to leave BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour after more than three decades on the programme.

The veteran broadcaster, 70, is the longest serving presenter of Woman’s Hour in the show’s 74-year history, the BBC said.

Dame Jenni, who has been on the radio programme for 33 years, will be “moving on to a new stage in her long and distinguished broadcasting career”.

She said: “I’ve spent nearly half my life with Woman’s Hour and it’s been a privilege ‎and delight to inform, educate and entertain a loyal and growing audience of women and men.

The radio airwaves won’t be the same without herLord Tony Hall, BBC director-general

“Saying goodbye will be very hard to do, but it’s time to move on.”

During her tenure, Dame Jenni has interviewed high-profile figures such as Bette Davis, Margaret Thatcher, Barbara Castle,‎ Shirley Williams, Gloria Steinem, Monica Lewinsky, Hillary Clinton, Anna Politkovskaya, Kate McCann, Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Wangari Maathai, Benazir Bhutto, Dame Judi Dench, Saoirse Ronan and Joan Baez, who sang Diamonds And Rust in the studio especially for her.

Lord Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, said: “Jenni Murray is a remarkable broadcaster and few have matched her outstanding contribution to the BBC and our audience.

“For more than three decades, Jenni has been an unmistakable and warm voice that has interviewed many of the most well-known women in the world, and helped illuminate issues that matter. The radio airwaves won’t be the same without her.”

Born in Barnsley, Dame Jenni joined BBC Radio Bristol in 1973 and went on to report and present for BBC TV’s South Today.

In 1983, she joined Newsnight before moving to Radio 4 as a presenter for the Today programme.

In 1985, she became the regular presenter of Woman’s Hour in 1987 and was made a dame in 2011 in recognition of her contribution to broadcasting.

Mohit Bakaya, controller of Radio 4, said: “Jenni is one of the most loved voices on Radio 4.

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Dame Jenni Murray (Amanda Searle/BBC)

Dame Jenni Murray (Amanda Searle/BBC)

Dame Jenni Murray (Amanda Searle/BBC)

“For more than 30 years she has tackled important issues on behalf of listeners, opening up sometimes difficult conversations about the experiences of women and shining a light on subjects that have often been sadly neglected.

“I want to thank her for her wonderful commitment to Woman’s Hour, to Radio 4 in general, and for the passion she has shown for the topics explored during her time on the programme. I wish her the very best with her plans for the future.”

Dame Jenni’s final programme will be on October 1.

A new Woman’s Hour presenter will be announced in due course.

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