Robin Lustig has today announced his decision to step down from his regular presenting duties at the BBC, after a broadcasting career spanning over 23 years.
Robin, who has presented Radio 4’s flagship evening news and analysis programme The World Tonight and Newshour on the BBC World Service since 1989, has decided to step down from his regular presenting duties at the end of 2012.
Talking about his decision to leave, Robin said: "This has been an immensely difficult decision, but I think now is a good time for me to bow out and see if I'm still capable of doing anything else. It's been a huge privilege to be part of the Radio 4 and World Service families for more than two decades, but I hope now to have an opportunity to return to my first love: reporting from the field and getting mud on my boots."
Over the course of his impressive career, Robin has covered many major world events for the BBC. He has broadcast live programmes from Abuja, Amman, Baghdad, Berlin, Harare, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Jerusalem, Kabul, Kosovo, Moscow, New York, Paris, Ramallah, Rome, Sarajevo, Shanghai, Tehran, Tokyo and Washington.
He has also interviewed several major world leaders, including Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, the former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, and the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Helen Boaden, Director of BBC News, said: “Over the past two decades, Robin has made an invaluable contribution to BBC journalism, especially in foreign affairs. His rich voice, deep knowledge and genuine curiosity have ensured that he is greatly loved by Radio 4 and World Service listeners. Personally I will miss him, as I’m sure the listeners will too. I would like to thank him and wish him all the best for the future.”
Alistair Burnett, Editor of The World Tonight, said: “Robin’s sharp intellect and journalistic rigour has been key to building The World Tonight’s reputation for in-depth analysis and making sense of what’s going on in the world for our listeners. He will be a very hard act to follow and will be missed, not only for his exemplary professionalism but also because he is a warm and considerate colleague."
Lucy Walker, Editor of Daytime Programmes BBC World Service, said: “Robin’s understanding of key global stories and skilled interviewing has helped to establish Newshour as the flagship programme on the World Service and made Robin a household name across much of the United States. A generous colleague, he quietly nurtured and encouraged a generation of producers and presenters, and will be much missed by all at World Service and by listeners across the globe."
Robin has always had a passion for news, having begun his career as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Madrid, Paris and Rome. He then spent 12 years on The Observer, where he was Home Affairs Editor, News Editor, Middle East Correspondent and Assistant Editor. He has won a number of awards, including the 1998 Sony Silver Award for Talk/News Broadcaster of the Year.
Notes to Editors
The World Tonight airs weeknights at 10pm on Radio 4. The programme offers in depth reporting, intelligent analysis and major breaking news from a global perspective.
Newshour airs twice daily on the BBC World Service, at 13:00 and 20:00 GMT. The programme offers interviews, news and analysis of the day’s global events.
Over the past two decades, Robin has made an invaluable contribution to BBC journalism, especially in foreign affairs. His rich voice, deep knowledge and genuine curiosity have ensured that he is greatly loved by Radio 4 and World Service listeners."