Matt Baker announces The One Show departure

Matt Baker is stepping down from The One Show after nine years as presenter.

Matt Baker and Alex Jones have presented The One Show together since 2011.

“I’ve loved that the One Show has been such a big part of my life for the last nine years. It’s been brilliant to showcase the eclectic mix of Britain, meet incredible people along the way and witness so many lives changed with the annual Rickshaw Challenge for Children in Need. I’d like to thank all those I’ve worked with over the years and especially you the viewer for showing me so much support during my time on the green sofa.” – Matt Baker

Matt began his television career 20 years ago as Blue Peter’s 28th presenter. In the eight years he worked on the show he won two Bafta awards for Best Presenter and a Royal Television Society award.

In 2010, he was runner-up in Strictly Come Dancing and went on to take part in the Strictly Live Tour winning a record-breaking number of shows. In his formative years Durham-born Matt was a British gymnastic and sports acrobatics champion. As well as his The One Show duties, he is the long-standing host of BBC One’s award-winning Sunday night series Countryfile and is the face and voice of BBC Sport’s Gymnastics coverage.

Related Feature: The History of The One Show

Matt joined The One Show in 2011 following the sudden departure of comedian Jason Manford whose private life had been splashed over the tabloids. Jason and Alex Jones had only recently been ushered in as the ‘new faces’ of the 7pm weekday programme following the decision by Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley to defect to ITV.

The One Show launched in 2006 with a four-week trial broadcast to see if there was an audience for a daily early evening magazine programme. Airing on BBC One in the 7pm slot, against Emmerdale, the Beeb hoped to tap into an audience who were seeking an alternative to soap.

“I would like to thank Matt for his nine years presenting The One Show, he has given so much to the show over that time. His warmth and wit have helped to create many magical moments on the sofa.” – Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content

Jason Manford and Alex Jones replaced Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley.

Off to ITV, Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley were lured to ITV from The One Show to host Daybreak.

“He has a great connection with BBC One viewers and will continue to play an important role on the channel on Sunday nights in Countryfile and with BBC Sport on our Gymnastics coverage. We look forward to working with him on other programmes in the future.” – Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content

The programme initially saw Adrian Chiles and Nadia Sawalha presenting from Birmingham. The trial was deemed a success by BBC bosses with a full series beginning ten months later in the summer of 2007. Sawalha did not return to the production with Myleene Klass taking over as Chiles’ co-host, however this proved to be a short-lived arrangement with Christine Bleakley being drafted in soon after.

Related Article: Matt Baker announced as One Show host.

Amongst the other changes made to the show was the move of production base from Birmingham to the corporation’s White City studios in London. The return of The One Show marked the demise of long-running Holiday, which had been on-air for 37 years, and also Real Story.

The beeb scheduled the magazine format to transmit virtually all year round,  allowing for “guest” presenters to cover for Christine and Adrian when away from the programme. Myleene Klass returned for one such stint while others have included Matthew Wright, Gloria Hunniford, Paul Merton, Nicky Campbell, Gethin Jones, Gabby Logan and Louise Minchin. For a spell Radio DJ Chris Evans also hosted the Friday edition.

“I’m continuing with Countryfile and BBC Sport and excited about other opportunities that come my way but most of all I’m looking forward to having dinner with my family and being able to put my kids to bed.” – Matt Baker

Matt will continue to present BBC’s Countryfile and sport coverage the Beeb have confirmed.

Chris Evans, Alex Jones and Matt Baker were the three regular hosts after the departure of Manford, Bleakley and Chiles.

Matt will leave The One Show after nine years next year.

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