Fred Dinenage is set to host his last news broadcast on ITV Meridian.
The presenter is retiring from hosting the six o'clock news after 38 years and will front his last show at 6pm today (Thursday).
Speaking beforehand, the 79-year-old – who is also known for educational children's show How! and true crime documentaries – said he’d been “so happy” at ITV.
He told ITV Meridian: "It started as a seven-week contract at Southern TV on a children's programme in 1963 - it's lasted 58 years.
"I still can't believe it.
"I've been so happy at ITV. I just want to say thank you to my dear colleagues, and our wonderful viewers for giving me so much love and support."
Dinenage’s co-host Sangeeta Bhabra paid tribute, saying it was “the end of a broadcasting era in the South of England as Fred uses his time to begin a new chapter”.
Farewell to Fred Dinenage: Legendary broadcaster says goodbye to regional news after 38 years.https://t.co/TxpKn1dakD
— ITV News Meridian (@itvmeridian) December 16, 2021
“Today the day I knew would come, has come,” she wrote.
“Time to say thank you and a chance to celebrate the work of a great broadcaster.”
Dinenage announced his retirement from his regional news anchor role earlier this year, saying that it had been “a really tough decision” to make.
— Sangeeta Bhabra (@SangeetaITV) December 16, 2021
However, the newsreader told This Morning that he would not “go completely”.
“It’s just I’ve had the most amazing run - 58 years non-stop with ITV and I just felt it was time to pull back, to change direction a little bit,” he said.
Read more: Louise Minchin says goodbye to BBC Breakfast
He also said he would continue to present crime documentaries and How!, but that stepping away from the newsroom would allow him to spend more time with his wife and their dogs.
Watch: Louise Minchin's final goodbye after 20 years at BBC Breakfast