Today 15th April 2017 was my last day at the BBC after almost 21 years.
It was a very hard decision to leave what many of my journalism students have called ‘the best job in the world’ -being a top BBC TV news anchor in London.
My students are correct– it is a privilege to bring the news to BBC viewers and it is a job to which many journalists aspire.
My students also asked me if I missed being a foreign correspondent since becoming a full time anchor in 1996. My reply was always, well as a correspondent you are on one story, as an anchor on a 24 hour news channel you are on all of the stories. For a journalist that is a fanatastic challenge especially as you are constantly conducting live interviews going from one topic to the next with barely a breath.
So why did I leave then? So many people have asked me that and the reason is simple
I have had an amazing 20 year career with the BBC
In June 2017 I will have been a journalist for 40 years
In September 2017 I will celebrate by 60th birthday.
So I’m at a crossroads moment in my life and I want to do other things and leaving BBC News gives me the freedom to do just that.
I am already a sought after keynote speaker
I am already a sought after conference/event host
I am already a sought after panel moderator
I will expand on all of those activities and also hope to return, on a freelance basis to radio presenting and presenting TV programmes where my personality is part of the mix.
So I am very invigorated and excited by the next chapter of my life.
60 is the new 40 apparently – certainly feels that way to me.