John Humphrys signs off after 32 years on Radio 4

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme presenter John Humphrys has hosted his final edition of the programme, with guests including former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron as well as the BBC Director-General.

Colleagues past and present including Sue MacGregor and Jim Naughtie were among those in the studio to pay tribute to John at the end of his stint, which spanned more than 32 years – from 2nd January 1987 to 19th September 2019.

The BBC says Today will continue with four main presenters – Justin Webb, Mishal Husain, Martha Kearney and Nick Robinson – and that it will not directly replace John Humphrys.

At the end of his final programme John thanked his fellow presenters, producers, Editor Sarah Sands, the many politicians and guests for being interviewed over the years, the BBC and finally listeners – who he said were ‘the backbone of our democracy’. “I’m more proud than I can say that you have put up with me for so long. Thank you all of you, and I do hope you keep listening,” he said. “Today matters for tomorrow – and if that’s a rather corny way to end my years on the programme then so be it.”

Of the BBC, John said: “There’s a lot wrong with it as an organisation – there’s a lot wrong with every organisation and it’s facing massive challenges from social media and changing behaviour and all that. But I believe we need the BBC as much now as we ever have done and I simply cannot imagine this country without it, it is an unthinkable thought.”

Director-General Lord Hall thanked John for his long service to the programme, adding: “In all the stuff you read in the papers about the Rottweiler Humphrys and all that stuff, you are also someone who handles interviews with people who have been through traumas or disasters, or have something they want to get off their chests but don’t know how to do it, with amazing sensitivity.”

Scroll down to listen to some highlights of the programme from David Lloyd’s RadioMoments channel, or click here.