Torin Douglas To Leave The BBC

But plans a busy life following decision to step down as media correspondent


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One of the most well-known voices in Chiswick, Torin Douglas, has announced his departure from the BBC after twenty-four years as media correspondent.

But the local newshound, who is planning to take the summer off when he departs from his job at the end of May, is not retiring. First on his list is a break for the summer and then there's the demands of his community work in Chiswick.

He will continue to be director of the Chiswick Book Festival and to help with the Bedford Park Festival. He will also continue as treasurer of the Broadcasting Press Guild and working with the Media Trust, which brings charities and the media together, to pass on some of our Chiswick experience to other communities. Torin's work with the community was recently recognised with the awarding of an MBE at Buckingham Palace earlier this year.

Torin and wife Carol outside Buckingham Palace

So despite leaving the BBC he's not planning to retire- offers of speaking engagements and chairing events have come in since the news was announced in the Guardian newspaper last week.

He adds: 'It's a good time - I've been doing this job for 24 years, which means I've basically been on call all that time, and I'd just like to do a bit less work and do some other things.'

Douglas joined the BBC in 1989 and recalls in an interview with BBC in-house magazine Aerial, that on his first day he met Brian Redhead, who was then co-presenter of the flagship Today programme. "I was introduced as the BBC's new media correspondent and he said, 'Oh well, I hope you get a proper job one day.' That was my welcome to the BBC."

Since then, Torin has reported on the work of six BBC director-generals and six BBC chairmen.

Some of those big stories included the resignation of former director general Greg Dyke and chairman Gavyn Davies following the Hutton Report. The death of the Princess of Wales was also another huge story, as it was linked to the behaviour of the media and the paparazzi.

"I was on the air every day for a fortnight with that story. That was a big one."

Recently Radio Four listeners have recently been listening to Torin's detailed coverage of the Savile crisis and the departure of George Entwistle as Director-General after only 54 days in the job.

Torin has been reporting for over forty years and recalls the days when radio journalists compiled their packages using razors to cut the tape.

The media world has changed hugely since he started - now there is 24-hour rolling news, Twitter, and the demands of online news to contend with for journalists.

"I just want to reflect and think about things. When you are on the daily treadmill it's often hard to reflect," he says.

The BBC Arts correspondent David Sillito will now be taking on Douglas's responsibilities in addition to his own.

April 19, 2013

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