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Lorraine Kelly could barely believe the news as she took to her Twitter feed to share the shocking announcement that Fred Dinenage was leaving.
The regional newsreader, 79, had been the longest serving news presenter on the channel having remained in the same six o'clock prime time slot for over 38 tears.
It was confirmed by the ITV press centre yesterday that Fred would be stepping down from his long standing role just before Christmas.
Like many of us, having grown up with Fred at the helm of the afternoon news it came as quite shock to daytime TV host Lorraine.
Retweeting the announcement, she asked her 658,800 followers: "How can this be happening?"
Lots of gutted fans swarmed to the comments section to also chime their own disbelief, with some remarking about the TV stars appearance on the popular ITV programme How 2.
How 2 was informative educational programme which saw Fred work alongside presenters Carol Voderman and Gareth Jones.
Fred explained that his reason for leaving ITV after so many years had been "tough" but he is hoping to spend more time with his family and wife and Conservative MP for Gosport Beverley.
His statement read: "After almost thirty eight years co-presenting the ITV six o'clock show in the south and south east I've finally decided to hang up my microphone.
"It's been a really tough decision but I now want to spend a few years with my wife, Beverley, and our three dogs 'smelling the roses' in my garden and spending time in the mountains of Austria.
"I will be continuing with my crime programmes and ITV's 'How?' and writing books, including one recently commissioned. But now I feel it is the right time to move on."
Many of Fred's colleagues also paid fitting tribute to his commitment and "award-winning" success.
Guy Phillips who is The Editor of ITV Regional News said: "Fred has always brought absolute dedication, warmth and first class journalism to our flagship 6pm programmes making it the award-winning success it is.
"He has been a fantastic colleague and friend to me over many years and a wonderful support and inspiration to countless people. I will miss him enormously and wish him well as he spends more time relaxing with his family."
While The Head of News at ITV Meridian, Alison Nice, added: "Fred is an absolute professional who is loved by those who watch our programme and his colleagues.
"Fred is the same person off screen as he is on. He is warm and caring and has time for everyone in the team. Fred is a brilliant journalist and presenter and we will all miss him very much."
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- Lorraine Kelly
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