Radio 4 presenter Robin Lustig quits The World Tonight


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The Independent Culture

Radio 4 veteran Robin Lustig is to leave his role as host of The World Tonight after 23 years.

The announcement of his departure comes just a fortnight after it was announced that two other of the station's most familiar voices - Charlotte Green and Harriet Cass - were stepping down.

Lustig, 64, will also leave his role as the BBC World Service's Newshour presenter and said he was keen to return to "reporting from the field".

He joined The World Tonight in 1989 after working as a journalist for the Reuters news agency and The Observer newspaper.

During his distinguished broadcasting career he has broadcast live from locations such as Baghdad, Islamabad, Kosovo and Tehran, while interviewees have included Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

He said today: "This has been an immensely difficult decision, but I think now is a good time for me to bow out and see if I'm still capable of doing anything else.

"It's been a huge privilege to be part of the Radio 4 and World Service families for more than two decades, but I hope now to have an opportunity to return to my first love: reporting from the field and getting mud on my boots."

Helen Boaden, director of BBC News, wished him well and said: "His rich voice, deep knowledge and genuine curiosity have ensured that he is greatly loved by Radio 4 and World Service listeners."

Green and Cass announced they were taking voluntary redundancy earlier this month after clocking up 74 years at the BBC between them.