Ian Wright axed by Live From Studio Five

Live From Studio Five presenters Wright has presented the show since it began in September 2009

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Footballer-turned-presenter Ian Wright has been axed from TV show Live From Studio Five.

Broadcaster Five said his contract had been "coming to an end and the decision was taken not to renew it".

Viewers watched on Thursday evening as co-presenters Jayne Middlemiss and Kate Walsh announced his departure.

Wright said that he was against a decision to reduce the programme's running time from an hour to 30 minutes.

He told Absolute Radio: They've just literally cut the show in half, there's no banter, there's no talk, and for the last couple of weeks where they've been trying it out I've been saying 'this is pointless, this is not what I'm doing it for.'"

"It's just been arguments for the last couple of weeks," Wright added, saying that he had been concerned about the future.

A source close to Wright said he had fallen out with the show's bosses after refusing to promote Five talent show Don't Stop Believing on the programme.

The source told BBC News the former footballer was not a fan of the Saturday night talent show, described by Five as a "showcase of choirs, musical performance groups and singing extravaganzas".

Start Quote

We've had a brilliant time working with Ian and he's been ace to spend time with every evening”

End Quote Kate Walsh

"His contract was due to end in the middle of September but they decided not to renew it," the source said.

"It was a combination of the two things - he wasn't prepared to go on and lie and, as a result, they decided not to renew his contract."

Middlemiss, speaking at the end of Thursday's show, said: "Before we go, we have to give you some sad news - Ian won't be joining us again here on Studio Five."

Former Apprentice contestant Walsh added: "We've had a brilliant time working with Ian and he's been ace to spend time with every evening.

"Ian, loads of luck for the future."

The first episode of the show on 14 September, 2009 - hosted by the original line-up of Wright, Walsh and former model Melinda Messenger - was watched by an average audience of 490,000 viewers.

Wright's final appearance, on Wednesday, was seen by 140,000 viewers, according to early figures.

The magazine show, which is aired on weekdays at 1830, was cut down from an hour to a 30-minute slot at the beginning of last week.

In the previous one-hour format, the second half of the programme had clashed with the BBC's The One Show, which begins at 1900.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Five's chairman and chief executive Dawn Airey was to leave in a shake-up of senior management after Daily Express and Daily Star owner Richard Desmond bought the channel.

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