Dame Jenni Murray to leave Woman’s Hour

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Broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray is set to leave Woman’s Hour after 33 years.

Dame Jenni is the longest-serving presenter in the Radio 4 show’s 74-year history.

During her time on the show she conducted memorable interviews with female figures as varied as Bette Davis, Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton; Kate McCann and Margaret Atwood.

She said it is now “time to move on”.

“I’ve spent nearly half my life with Woman’s Hour and it’s been a privilege ‎and delight to inform, educate and entertain a loyal and growing audience of women and men,” said Dame Jenni.

“Saying goodbye will be very hard to do, but it’s time to move on.”

In 2011, she received a damehood in recognition of her contribution to broadcasting during a career that also saw her picked up two Sony Awards and be made a member of the Radio Academy Hall of Fame.

Other highlights included interviews with actors Dame Judi Dench, Saoirse Ronan and her own personal favourite singer, Joan Baez.

‘Unmistakeable and warm voice’

BBC director general Tony Hall described the outgoing presenter as “remarkable”, adding that “few have matched her outstanding contribution to the BBC and our audience”.

“For more than three decades, Jenni has been an unmistakeable and warm voice that has interviewed many of the most well-known women in the world, and helped illuminate issues that matter. The radio airwaves won’t be the same without her,” he added.

Dame Jenni announced on-air in 2006 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer. On her return to work the following year she spoke about her hair loss and the importance of hair in defining femininity.

Mohit Bakaya, Controller of Radio 4, praised her for tackling “important issues” and having “difficult conversations about the experiences of women”.

“I want to thank her for her wonderful commitment to Woman’s Hour, to Radio 4 in general, and for the passion she has shown for the topics explored during her time on the programme,” said Bakaya.

Dame Jenni’s final programme will be broadcast on 1 October, and a new Woman’s Hour presenter will be announced in due course.

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