Sussex’s Simon Mayo has stepped down as host of the BBC Radio 2 Drivetime show.
The popular DJ, who began his broadcasting career at Shoreham-based Seaside Hospital Radio, providing entertainment at Worthing and Southlands hospitals, has left his post after eight years at the helm.
He is a notable alumnus of Worthing High School.
The move follows the addition of Jo Whiley as a co-host in May, after complaints around a lack of diversity on the station.
In a BBC statement, Simon said: “Obviously, I’m very sad to be leaving Radio 2, and my good friend Jo. However, 2019 looks like being incredibly exciting for me.
“I have a new two book deal with Transworld, my children’s series Itch is being filmed for TV in Australia in early 2019, and I’m continuing to develop my novel Mad Blood Stirring for a movie with screenwriter Jack Thorne.
“Plus the film show with Mark Kermode continues on 5 live.
“Radio 2 has been a quite wonderful experience - my happiest in radio I think - but new adventures beckon and I cannot wait to get started.”
From 2001-2007 Simon presented the Radio 2 Album Chart Show, while also presenting 5 live’s afternoon show between 2001 and 2009.
During his career, Simon has won a Sony Radio Academy Award in 2009 with Mark Kermode for the 5 live Film Review, the Sony Award in 2011 for Best Music Programme for Drivetime, the Sony Radio Speech Award at the 2008, as well Broadcasting Press Guild’s Radio Broadcaster of the Year in 2008.
Lewis Carnie, head of Radio 2, said: “Simon is a fantastic broadcaster, and I’d like to thank him for entertaining millions of Radio 2 listeners with his wit and warmth over the years. Everyone at the station wishes Simon the very best of luck for what promises to be a very exciting future, and he’ll be missed at Wogan House.
“With Simon leaving, we’ve taken this opportunity to take a fresh look at the schedule, and create a show for Jo which will focus on her passion for music.”