BBC News presenter breaks down in tears as she gives last ever report

BBC News presenter breaks down in tears during last ever report after 40 years working for the broadcaster

  • Louise Priest broke down in tears as she said her presented her final show today
  • READ MORE:  BBC TV news staff pull out of live programme because they were ‘too upset to work’

BBC news presenter Louise Priest broke down in tears as she said her presented her final show today.

The veteran journalist, 62, confirmed her departure from BBC Look East earlier in the show.

She had spent almost 40 years at the broadcaster, starting at Look East in the 1990s, before making her way to lead presenter of the morning and lunchtime bulletins. 

‘Well, this is my last bulletin for Look East.

‘I’d just like to say how much I’ve enjoyed bringing the news to you…’

She then wafted her hands in front of her face as she began to cry.

‘I wasn’t going to do this! Thank you for keeping me company over the years and don’t forget Look East is here at six thirty!’

‘I have been so lucky to have a variety of jobs at the BBC it never occurred to me to leave but, after almost 40 years, I felt the time was right.

‘The impact of the 4am starts on my home life was the biggest factor.’

‘I feel I have made the right decision to go, but I’m also slightly nervous about life after the BBC.’

She added she had no plans beyond the BBC, but now might write a book. 

BBC news presenter Louise Priest broke down in tears as she said her presented her final show today

She then put papers down on the desk as the credits tolled while she looked sad.

 Regular viewers were shocked at the lack of fanfare.

’40 years and… that’s it,’ one person wrote.

‘Would of been nice if someone had walked on with some flowers to say thank you,’ said another.

Louise’s exit comes after BBC staff at a regional TV news station pulled their live programmes in November because they were ‘too upset to work’ following an announcement that employees would be made redundant next month.

Many of the broadcasting team at BBC Look East’s Cambridge office decided not to go ahead with its scheduled 6.30pm and 10.30pm programmes after receiving the news hours earlier.

The veteran journalist, 62, confirmed her departure from BBC Look East earlier in the show

Staff were told that the final BBC Look East programme from the Cambridge office will be aired on December 16, with many journalists and production staff set to lose their jobs.

Viewers instead received broadcasts from Norwich last night, from where programmes will be permanently aired after next month.

Cambridge BBC journalist Mousumi Bakshi tweeted at the time: ‘Team, we have decided not to broadcast tonight. For reasons detailed below. Please accept our sincere apologies.

‘We were split. We’re here to serve you and we love broadcasting live. 

‘But that’s not possible tonight. We’ll sup on the red bull and come back tomorrow, with wings on.’

A member of staff in the Cambridge office said the tech team took the news the hardest, while there were lots of tears as the news of the forthcoming redundancies sank in.

The BBC has said it needs to save £285million in response to the announcement in January that the licence fee will be frozen for the next two years

The BBC employee, who did not want to be named, said: ‘Our young, talented and loyal tech team took the news the hardest. 

‘There were many tears, as colleagues and friends hugged and held hands as the news sank in that going forward there will be no technical roles at all based in the Cambridge building. 

‘Many others will have to re-apply for their own jobs and compete with colleagues. Staff took time to digest the news. We were walking around like zombies. We needed to talk, process what had happened. 

‘No one wanted to let our viewers down, but the decision was taken that it wouldn’t be fair on those whose posts are closing, to output the programme under such stressful and emotional conditions.

 ‘The decision was taken after much deliberation and discussion on all sides. After all, after mid-December the programme will come from Norwich anyway.’

The staff member added that the ‘close-knit, hardworking team’ was ‘being ripped apart in the cruellest way possible’.

They continued: ‘We have fewer resources than almost any other regional news programme and yet we are the ones at risk of losing our jobs. 

‘We are like a family and have been there to support each other, but the next few weeks and months will be very difficult for us all. We are sad for our loyal audiences who we feel will be underserved and short-changed in the future. 

‘After five months and five days of worry, sleepless nights, financial uncertainty, not knowing if we have the money to pay the bills, this was yet another slap in the face and a disappointment for those who were hoping they had a future in the brave new “digital” world. 

‘Some of us left wondering for all that time if we needed to move, pull our children out of school.’

A spokesperson for the BBC refused to deny the reasoning for the programme being pulled.

A statement said: ‘BBC Look East from Cambridge didn’t put out programmes last night, instead viewers received broadcasts from Norwich. 

‘The Cambridge programme will return tonight then on December 16th we are closing the service.’

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