McDonald to leave news in 2005

Long-term ITV News anchor Sir Trevor McDonald will step down from his role when the 18-month contract he signed last month comes to an end in December next year.

However McDonald, 65 next month, told The Sun that he will not withdraw from TV altogether, but “will probably stop doing the news” after his contract expires in 2005.

The veteran newsreader has been with ITV News broadcaster ITN for 31 years, joining from the BBC World Service in 1973, as the independent news broadcaster’s first black journalist.

He was knighted in 1999.

“I’ve been reading the news for so long it feels about 320 years. There will be lots of people to step into my shoes.”

He added that he did not believe in the “very English idea” of retirement, and would still contribute to the current affairs programme Tonight With Trevor McDonald.

“I’m not giving up TV. It’s my passion and I love it,” he said.

Speculation is already mounting as to who will be his successor on the flagship ITV News at 10.30pm. ITN colleagues Mark Austin and Mary Nightingale are seen as contenders.

Dermot Murnaghan, the former ITV News anchor turned BBC Breakfast presenter since 2002 and Beeb colleague Fiona Bruce are also attracting speculation as potential replacements.

By Wale Azeez

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