John Humphrys I should have left Radio 4s Today programme years ago

The presenter added that he was not an “ambitious youngster” with many more challenges ahead, explaining that he had always planned to stay on the programme unless the BBC “threw him out” or he got bored of the job, but neither has happened.He also revealed he is planning to publish a book about his time on the show, which is provisionally titled The Today Files and is due to be published in September or October.His departure will be the second major shake-up to the Today programme in two years. Sarah Montague swapped roles with the then World at One host Martha Kearney last year.The programme came under scrutiny during the 2017 gender pay row after it was revealed that Humphrys was one of the BBC’s biggest earners. He received a significant pay cut in the wake of the row, with his £650,000 salary being stripped down to around £300,000. Enjoy John’s lap of honour this year. Totally uninterested in his own publicity. A king of broadcasting. And long live Mishal. pic.twitter.com/U94YrPOwna— sarah sands (@sarahsands100) February 6, 2019 But in a discussion on personal happiness with two guests, he quipped: “Do you reckon leaving the Today programme is going to make you happier? I mean, if it were to happen.”And added: “It will make other people happier possibly!”Earlier, when a guest told Humphrys, “I can’t believe you are leaving”, he replied: “All these stories got up by the press. Can’t believe a word you read.” The corporation has lost a string of high-profile radio broadcasters during the row over salaries. John Humphrys has been hailed a “king of broadcasting” after it was revealed he will quit the Today programme this year after more than three decades.The veteran broadcaster plans to stand down from the flagship Radio 4 show, which he has anchored for the last 32 years.Humphrys, 75, has “indicated” his intentions to BBC bosses and “assumes” he will go in 2019, but has not yet handed in his notice.The BBC declined to comment on Humphrys’s departure, but Today editor Sarah Sands tweeted: “Enjoy John’s lap of honour this year. Totally uninterested in his own publicity. A king of broadcasting. And long live Mishal.”During Wednesday’s broadcast, Humphrys steered clear of his own headlines as he reviewed the papers on Radio 4’s flagship news programme until the final five minutes when a guest brought up his impending departure.  “I still enjoy it enormously. I know that sounds ridiculous. There are mornings in mid-February when you don’t want to get up at half past three. But, equally, there are other things I want to do with my life, and one has to make the decision sooner or later.”  But the broadcaster told The Daily Mail: “I’m assuming it’ll be this year. That’s what I’m assuming, but I haven’t fixed a date… It’s not easy to leave a job you’ve been doing for 32 years. It’s more than half my professional life. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.

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