Suzanne Virdee quits Midlands Today in contract row

Midlands Today presenter Suzanne Virdee will quit the show tomorrow after refusing to sign a new contract, she revealed today.

Suzanne Virdee

Midlands Today presenter Suzanne Virdee will quit the show tomorrow after refusing to sign a new contract, she revealed today.

She blamed "circumstances beyond her control" which meant she could not sign a proposed five-month contract but refused to be drawn on details of a dispute with bosses.

It brings an abrupt end to her 11-year stint as the face of the BBC news show, during which she has become one of the most recognisable faces on West Midlands television.

In a statement issued to the Express & Star, the newsreader expressed her sadness at leaving the show she has fronted for more than a decade.

"It is with great sadness that I will not be continuing my long association with Midlands Today," she said.

"I have had many happy years co-presenting the programme and I am proud and privileged to have helped make the programme one of the most watched regional news programmes in the country.

"It's been an honour and a privilege to bring the news to the region where I was born and brought up and I really am extremely grateful for that opportunity and the support I have had from viewers.

"Working with my dear friend and co host Nick Owen has been a total pleasure and us being honoured with best presenter awards along the way was an unexpected highlight.

"During my time at Midlands Today I have worked with some superb colleagues, many of whom have become firm friends and have been a massive support to me.

But Suzanne, aged 42, added: "However due to circumstances beyond my control it is not possible for me to sign a proposed five month contract and my final day presenting Midlands Today will be March 30 2012."

Solihull-born Suzanne joined the BBC show in 2001, working first on the late night bulletin and then taking over as the main presenter just a year later.

She has previously worked for Central Television, the Sunday Mercury and the Birmingham Evening Mail.

Suzanne, who is married to a freelance national newspaper photographer,  then joined BBC WM but after 16 months moved to Central News as a reporter, producer and presenter.

A BBC spokesman today would not comment on allegations of a dispute. But he said: "We are sorry that Suzanne has decided to leave Midlands Today.

"We wish her all the best for the future."

Midlands Today presenter Suzanne Virdee will quit the show tomorrow after refusing to sign a new contract, she revealed today.

She blamed "circumstances beyond her control" which meant she could not sign a proposed five-month contract but refused to be drawn on details of a dispute with bosses.

It brings an abrupt end to her 11-year stint as the face of the BBC news show, during which she has become one of the most recognisable faces on West Midlands television.

In a statement issued to the Express & Star, the newsreader expressed her sadness at leaving the show she has fronted for more than a decade.

"It is with great sadness that I will not be continuing my long association with Midlands Today," she said.

"I have had many happy years co-presenting the programme and I am proud and privileged to have helped make the programme one of the most watched regional news programmes in the country.

"It's been an honour and a privilege to bring the news to the region where I was born and brought up and I really am extremely grateful for that opportunity and the support I have had from viewers.

"Working with my dear friend and co host Nick Owen has been a total pleasure and us being honoured with best presenter awards along the way was an unexpected highlight.

"During my time at Midlands Today I have worked with some superb colleagues, many of whom have become firm friends and have been a massive support to me.

But Suzanne, aged 42, added: "However due to circumstances beyond my control it is not possible for me to sign a proposed five month contract and my final day presenting Midlands Today will be March 30 2012."

Solihull-born Suzanne joined the BBC show in 2001, working first on the late night bulletin and then taking over as the main presenter just a year later.

She has previously worked for Central Television, the Sunday Mercury and the Birmingham Evening Mail.

Suzanne, who is married to a freelance national newspaper photographer,  then joined BBC WM but after 16 months moved to Central News as a reporter, producer and presenter.

A BBC spokesman today would not comment on allegations of a dispute. But he said: "We are sorry that Suzanne has decided to leave Midlands Today.

"We wish her all the best for the future."

Comments for: "Suzanne Virdee quits Midlands Today in contract row"

jason.s

sorry to see her go,all the best suzanne,u made watching the news bearable

Herb

Another example of the Beeb weeding out the ladies once they approach 50?

Paul

seems to me she got a bit haughty at the contract offer ('only' five months apparently) and told them to stuff it then made a press release to make them look bad but it backfired and they told her not to bother coming in for her last two days. she seems the type.

Derek

hear! hear! agree totally! I shall miss her. She delivered the news with compassion and feeling and charm. On top of that, in spite of being partially deaf, I could hear every word she uttered.

Andy

Glad to see her go, she was tiresome. If they can now just get rid of the other twee half of tweedledum....Mr Owen...

Louise

Hit the off switch if you don't like the programme!

zztopfan

That's rather simplistic, Louise - what happens if you actually want to watch the news? Are you expected to do without?

Tom

Louise, I think his issue is with the presenter and not the programme.

I have to agree she was rather twee and a bit lacking....another autocutie bites the dust!

Louise

Andy doesn't like either presenter, so perhaps should listen to local radio for news instead...or read a newspaper!

Wayne

If any of you don't like the presenters of Midlands Today why the hell do you you watch? Not as though there is no option. These people need a life in an age when you have so many choices you choose to moan about one. USE THE REMOTE

dave w

i agree about nick owen but Suzanne is a pleasant person on screen

Wulfrunian

A lovely Lady with oodles of personality - a breath of fresh air.

Shame on the BBC for not retaining her - I won't be watching Midlands Today in future !

Wenger's waterbottle

Once again management shortermism leads to the loss of one of the greats!

Management has no allegiances to people, only money.

No wonder Sky is taking over.......

Switch the lights off this is the end of any decency in the UK.

Retain what is good quality.

The duet will not be the same.

All the best Suzanne in your future non-BBC career.

Dodge 210

Andy is obviously watching the wrong programme or maybe he is one of those dumb forum trolls that makes a stupid comment for effect.

She was a very good, pleasant news reader, she will no doubt find another channel who will recognise her worth.

zztopfan

People are allowed to have different opinions to you, and aren't necessarily trolling if they state them.

Fred Blakemore

What a shame she was so good at the job, but sadly she was completely normal and that just won't do for the Beeb who will probably seek out some sort of odd freak in the name of political correctness!!!

Roy

I'll second that Fred.

Shared a lift in the Mailbox just this week and she came accross as a really nice lady. Must confess I was a little overawed by her, but as she said " were just ordinary people". Put me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Sorry to see you go Suzanne! Best of luck.

John

Sad to say, but I switch off most of the BBC's material. It's just propaganda. The last straw for me was Obama's election night. The only thing I really watch it for is wildlife documentaries and repeats of old sit-com's like Dad's Army. The contemporary stuff is just diabolically stale and predictable. Such a stark contrast to the old days.

Suzanne was a nice looker though, I'll say that for her.

Rob

Pity, she was the other half of the best presenters that have been on Midlands Today. Well BBC what next? Get someone with spiky hair and a lisp...to bring (Da Youf!) in to watching the news..(that wont happen)

One can honestly say standards are slipping everywhere!!!

jim lee

Quelle horreur. What a loss.

She's utterly gorgeous.

The sooner the BBC loses licence fees and has to compete in the real world, the better.

All the best to Suzanne.

Please re-appear in the Midlands asap.

micra1944

How can you blame anybody without knowing the facts. These days it is easy to accuse others of prejudice, but often such accusations show prejudice by the accuser.

johnny

glad shes going think she had big ego and thought a lot of herself when she was on just heard the headlines then the offswitch goodbye and thank god i say.

Derek

Well if you switched off after the headlines how can you draw such conclusions about "her big ego" etc. It strikes me that you're just one of those inadequate people who resent anybody else getting on in the world, especially when it's a woman.

dave w

Herb @ 1

can't believe she's 42!!!! stunning!!

going to miss her natural smile :-(

Sofa Wolf

Good. One half of the smuggest pair on TV. Get rid of him too. Has he said 'only 20 days till the cricket season ' yet ?

Aynuck

Everybody is entitled to their opinion and I for one am sorry that Susan Virdee, a Midlander through and through, will no longer be presenting the Midlands local news.

She maintained an air of professionalism whilst coming across as a very pleasant lady and the BBC, who will probably parachute in a presenter from outside our area, seem to have treated Suzanne quite shabbily at the end by not allowing her to sign off with dignity.

I hope that she moves on to bigger and better things and wish her the very best of luck for the future.

Susie Q

I only watch it for her, not stupid Nick. Sorry will switch over!! Hope you soon get another job and look forward to seeing you on screen soon. Miss you already

LOL!!

Mike

She wasn't too bad when she did the lunchtime bulletin on her own, but with Nick Owen at tea-time she was like a silly school girl. I shan't miss her.