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Updated: Tuesday 27 September 2005

Philip Hayton leaves the BBC

BBC News 24 presenter Philip Hayton has left the BBC after 37 years.

Philip cited incompatability with current co-presenter Kate Silverton as the reason he decided to leave.

Hayton became a household name presenting all of the main BBC One bulletins, including the Nine O’clock News, and has presented on BBC News 24 for around five years, co-hosting the weekday mornings slot as well as presenting of a Sunday afternoon.

Philip, who has previously presented alongside Joanna Gosling and Anna Jones, said that he had never had a problem working with a co-presenter before but was unable to continue working with Kate, who is also a regular presenter on Breakfast.

The presenter, who was unable to resolve the matter with BBC management, told MediaGuardian that “It boils down to incompatibility, we did four hours of live TV every day, and you have to like each other.”

Kate was paired with Philip when his co-presenter Anna Jones left the corporation for Sky News in July.

Kate’s agent said “This has come out of the blue, Kate had absolutely no idea about it. She has never had a problem with any other co-presenter. In fact, people seem to like to present with her because she’s such a good journalist and such a good presenter.” He added that he thought it said “more about Philip than Kate.”

Philip became one of the channels best known faces and added that he had “been at the BBC for 37 years and it is the first time I have had a problem like this. Maybe it is just the law of averages” but he denied any bitterness against the BBC in saying that the corporation “is a wonderful outfit and is undoubtedly the world’s finest news broadcaster.”

In a statement, the BBC said: “It is a matter of sincere regret that Philip has chosen to leave the full-time employment of the BBC. “The characterisation of Kate Silverton is one that few, if any, would recognise. She is widely regarded as a thoroughly professional and popular member of the team and we are delighted that she is such an important part of BBC News 24.”

Former Sky News presenter Simon McCoy, who joined the BBC in January 2004 and presents regularly on BBC News 24 and Breakfast, will take over Philip’s slot and present on the channel with Kate and Carrie Gracie in the weekday morning slot.

Philip Hayton – Profile