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24 September 2014

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All change on the weather front
Craig in the studio
Craig Rich with his successor David Braine.
BBC weather forecaster Craig Rich is hanging up his charts after 25 years on air.

Craig is looking forward to his well earned retirement and the opportunity to escape the worst of the British winter.
Send your retirement message to Craig

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Craig first joined the BBC's Spotlight programme in 1978.

He was the first BBC regional weather forecaster.

For ten years Craig was Head of the Department of Shipping and Transport at Plymouth Polytechnic.

Craig was navigation advisor to the Sunday Times for the 1968 Round the World Yacht Race.

He was instrumental in exposing Donald Crowhurst, who attempted to fabricate a round the world voyage before disappearing from his yacht in mid-Atlantic.

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After 25 years on our screens, the BBC's longest serving regional weather forecaster, Craig Rich, has announced his retirement.

His place on the BBC's Spotlight programme has been taken by high profile national forecaster David Braine.

David joined Spotlight early in 2002 and has been sharing presenting duties with Craig ever since.

Craig first joined the programme in 1978 and was the BBC's first regional weather forecaster.

Craig at his computer terminal
Craig uses computers to predict the weather

In what has been his 25th year on the programme, Craig has gradually eased back on his presenting in preparation for his retirement.

"This is not a sudden departure, it's been in my mind for some time," said Craig.

"I've always said when I got the weather right I would give up. So I must have got one right at last."

Craig went on: "I have had 25 years on Spotlight which has seriously changed my life.

"I have been here for many of the historic stories of the past three decades including the Fastnet Race tragedy in 1979 and the Penlee disaster in 1981.

Craig in the early days
Early days: a younger looking Craig

"The highlights included interviewing the Princess Royal on HMS Nottingham at the start of the Tall Ships Race, and a programme from Ypres on the 80th anniversary of the Armistice.

"I’ve known David for a few years and he’s exactly the right person to join the team," added Craig.

"I am going to spend most of the winter in Cape Town and much of the summer on my boat or playing golf. I may even do a bit of work in between," said Craig.

But Craig won't be disappearing from our screens for good. He'll continue to pop up on Spotlight from time to time as the programme's holiday relief forecaster.

Craig has contributed to a number of other BBC programmes, particularly where the sea and weather are involved.

In the early 1980s, he presented That's Rich, a late evening series of local programmes, and has for many years also produced and presented regular programmes for BBC Radio Devon.

David Braine
David Braine is returning to his Westcountry roots

BBC South West pulled off a coup in persuading national forecaster David Braine to return to his Westcountry roots.

David said: "It is a great challenge to work with the Spotlight team, I’ve watched and admired the programme over many years.

"I’ve always longed to return to the South West and my maritime roots."

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