Adrian Chiles is quitting BBC1's The One Show for a new four-year deal with ITV, it was announced today.
The presenter - who was said to be unhappy at Chris Evans being drafted in to host the Friday night edition of his early evening show - will front GMTV and present ITV football coverage.
And he blasted the decision to tinker with The One Show today: "I would have been happy to stay at the BBC doing the same shows on the same terms, especially The One Show, of which I am so proud, having worked on it since the first pilots four years ago.
"It's no secret how disappointed I was by the Controller's decision to change an apparently successful and well-loved show at this stage, but fully respect her right to do so and sincerely wish her and the brilliant One Show team well with it."
Chiles's new deal is an exclusive contract and means he will lead ITV's World Cup coverage in June, including England's two peak-time opening games.
From next season he will be fronting the Champions League, England's home internationals and away friendlies, as well as The FA Cup.
Under his new deal, Chiles will present GMTV five mornings a week from later this year and will also host a new factual entertainment series from next year.
Peter Fincham, ITV director of television, channels and online, said: "Adrian is a brilliant presenter, journalist and a football fanatic - I'm very much looking forward to working with him again when he joins ITV.
"He has the rare talent of being able to make television presenting look effortless. He will be at home at ITV, whether it is on our flagship breakfast programme or in the football studio."
The move will bring to an end his popular partnership with Christine Bleakley, his One Show co-host and a firm friend.
His departure appeared to have caught the BBC by surprise today.
He still has a month to run on his present contract and it is understood he was offered a new deal two months ago to continue presenting The One Show, Match Of The Day 2 and The Apprentice: You're Fired! It would have also included a chat show.
Chiles said of the move today: "I'm absolutely delighted to be joining ITV, especially as I'll be renewing acquaintances with two key figures in my career - Peter Fincham, who conceived The One Show in the first place and asked me to present it. I'm delighted to be part of his ambitious plans for ITV.
"And I'm also looking forward to working again with Niall Sloane who, as the BBC's head of football, launched Match of the Day 2 with me.
"The chance to front ITV's football coverage and GMTV would have proved an irresistible opportunity at the best of times. But, coming as it did at an awkward period for me at the BBC, it made the decision to leave not quite as hard as it might have been."
He added: "I would have been happy to stay at the BBC, doing the same shows on the same terms, especially The One Show, of which I am so proud, having worked on it since the first pilots four years ago."
A BBC spokesman said: "We would like to thank Adrian for his contributions to his programmes and we wish him well for the future."
Chiles was away last week and Chris Hollins stood in as a guest host on The One Show.