‘I didn’t want to be an ancient broadcaster’: Britain’s longest serving newsreader Alastair Stewart, 70, retires after nearly 50 years on screen
Britain’s longest-serving newsreader Alastair Stewart has revealed he is retiring from regular broadcasting.
The 70-year-old news anchor is bringing an end to his career after spending 47 years working as a journalist on local and national television in the UK.
In a statement said he wanted to leave while he was still an ‘old broadcaster’ and not an ‘ancient one’.
Alastair was at ITV News for over three decades before making the jump to start-up channel GB News in 2021.
An announcement from GB News confirmed that the newsreader is stepping back from his role and had fronted the final episode of his programme Alastair Stewart & Friends last weekend.
Legendary news presenter Alastair Stewart, 70, has revealed he is retiring from regular broadcasting
The news anchor is bringing an end to his career after spending 47 years working as a journalist on local and national television in the UK (pictured in 1995)
Although he won’t be a regular on screens anymore, the journalist will return to GB News as an occasional contributor and he will be providing commentary for the upcoming Coronation of King Charles III in May.
Commenting on his retirement, he said in a statement: ‘I’m nearly 71 and I still get the most tremendous lift from live television – it’s the best job in the world.’
He continued: ‘However, the rigours of preparing for two live interview shows a week, and commuting from Hampshire to London for them, are considerable.
‘I want to reduce my commitment while I’m still ahead as an old broadcaster, rather than an ancient one.
Before adding: ‘Thankfully the timing is mine; I just want to spend more of it with my family, my horses, and the charities that have meant so much to me over the years.’
Since joining GB News, Stewart was the announcer on air for Queen Elizabeth’s death in September 2022 and was the anchor for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier in the year.
Although he won’t be a regular on screens anymore, the journalist will return to GB News as an occasional contributor and he will be providing commentary for the upcoming coronation of King Charles III in May (Pictured in 2018)
Stewart left ITV after 45 years in 2020. He was forced out for quoting Shakespeare at a black Twitter user (pictured with co-host Fiona Foster in 1995)
He joined the new channel over a year after he was forced out of ITV for quoting Shakespeare at a black Twitter user.
The television star had previously presented the news for some 45 years before the row exploded at the start of 2020.
Stewart was hauled over the coals by bosses after a viewer complained about his tweet quoting a Shakespeare passage that contained the phrase ‘angry ape’.
At the time Andrew Neil publicly backed him and said ‘ITN suits had forced him out’. Any racial element was always denied.
After he referred to a black follower as an ‘angry ape’ a petition to get Stewart re-instated has received more than 70,000 signatures
Stewart appeared to make a veiled reference to the trouble in the statement welcoming him to the new channel.
He said: ‘GB News is a unique opportunity to broaden the spectrum, challenge the groupthink and move away a predictable agenda in news and debate.’
Stewart had been the longest-serving male newsreader after joining Southern Television in 1976 then ITN in 1980.
He married Sally Ann Jung in 1978 and they have four children together, Freddie, Clemmie, Oscar and Alexander.
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