News host Suzanne Virdee has announced her sudden departure from the BBC One Midlands’ local news show after deciding not to sign a new contract with the corporation.

Virdee who hosts the main evening BBC Midlands Today, alongside former ATV News and TV-am personality Nick Owen, revealed that this will be her last week with the programme.

The BBC had offered the 42-year-old current affairs presenter a five-month contract to stay with the programme, which is produced in Birmingham, however opted to not continue in the position she has held since 2002 due to “circumstances beyond my control” she said. She first joined the news team for the region in 2001.

“It is with great sadness that I will not be continuing my long association with Midlands Today,” the Birmingham Mail report her as stating of her resignation, adding, “is not possible for me to sign a proposed five-month contract.”

Prioir to joining BBC Midlands Today eleven years ago Virdee had worked for rival Midland ITV broadcaster Central Television and local BBC radio. She started her journalist career aged 18 as a trainee reporter with Solihull Times. She has also worked for the Sunday Mercury and Birmingham Mail newspapers.

“I have had many happy years co-presenting and I’m proud to have helped make the programme one of the most watched regional news programmes in the country,” she told the newspaper.

She joined the BBC One Midlands news service as a late night presenter hosting the regions 10.25pm bulletin before switching to the main 6.30pm half-hour programme a year later.

“It’s been an honour to bring the news to the region where I was born and brought up and I really am extremely grateful for that opportunity and the support I have had from viewers. Working with my dear friend Nick Owen has been a pleasure and us being honoured with best presenter awards was an unexpected highlight.”

The BBC had no comment on the unexpected departure, other than to wish the presenter the best for the future.

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