High-profile radio host Red Symons won’t be back on ABC Radio Melbourne next year, after the broadcaster apparently decided not to renew his contract.
It’s been an eventful year for the host, best known for his years on Hey Hey It’s Saturday alongside Daryl Somers.
In June he apologised for an interview that saw him accused of making racist remarks, then in July he fell and hit his head while walking home from the supermarket, forcing him to take two months off while he recovered from a brain injury.
Symons made the surprise announcement of his departure from the Melbourne station on air shortly before the end of his shift on Friday morning, ABC news reported. He has been in the role for almost 15 years, after filling in for Lynne Haultain during her maternity leave in 2003.
“This will be my last year doing this program on the ABC,” he said. “Why am I going? They haven’t said and I haven’t asked. Other things have been offered here but I think it’s better to make a clean break.”
The radio host went on to thank his producers and listeners.
“I shall miss [producers] Katrina Palmer and Ross Kavanagh, I can pretend that I’m doing this alone but I am not. They make me more interesting than I really am,” Symons said. “And I shall miss you, dear listener. Thank you.”
ABC Radio Melbourne station manager Warwick Tiernan said he was sad to see Symons leave.
“There is no-one around like Red Symons,” he said. “His unique take on the world and his endless curiosity about the world around him has kept audiences tuning in for 15 years.
Symons’s final hurrah will air on Friday, December 8. ABC Radio said it would announce the full Melbourne 2018 lineup shortly.