BBC's Cooke calls it a day

Cooke: 2,869 letters from America

Veteran BBC Radio 4 broadcaster Alistair Cooke has retired after 58 years presenting his Letter From America, the world’s longest-running speech radio programme.

The BBC said the 95-year-old journalist had quit the programme on doctor’s advice. He joined the corporation in 1934 as a film critic before starting the US current affairs and historical programme in 1946, going on to present a total of 2,869 shows in more than 717 hours of broadcasting time.

As a tribute to Cooke, Radio 4 and the World Service will broadcast a selection of his programmes from the archives over the next few months in A Celebration Of Alistair Cooke’s Letter From America.

While at the BBC he has also worked on television programmes, including Alistair Cooke’s America, which was aired around the world.

By Wale Azeez

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