Fred Dinenage announces he will be leaving ITV News Meridian after Christmas

LOCAL television news legend Fred Dinenage has announced he will be leaving ITV New Meridian at Christmas after almost four decades in regional news.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 7:42 pm

Fred, who grew up in Portsmouth, is one of ITV’S longest serving regional news anchors, with a career spanning the almost 38 years.

But tonight the well-known presenter revealed he is stepping away from Meridian to instead spend more time with his family and to focus on other projects.

Fred, who is the father of Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, said: ‘After almost thirty eight years co-presenting the ITV six o'clock show in the south and south east I've finally decided to hang up my microphone.

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Fred Dinenage, pictured at the Meridian Television Studios at Whiteley in 2014. Picture: Malcolm Wells (141209-0343)

‘It's been a really tough decision but I now want to spend a few years with my wife, Beverley, and our three dogs smelling the roses in my garden and spending time in the mountains of Austria.

‘I will be continuing with my crime programmes and ITV's How! and writing books, including one recently commissioned.

‘But now I feel it is the right time to move on. I will miss my dear co-presenter, Sangeeta, and my colleagues at ITV Meridian terribly. And, of course, I will miss our wonderful viewers who have given me such incredible love and support for so long.

‘I've been so lucky in my life and career - 58 years working non-stop on regional and network programmes with ITV and I've been blessed by having a truly special family. So, to everyone - thank you.’

Fred Dinenage, author, presenter and Meridian TV news anchorman pictured throughout the years. Picture: Malcolm Wells (141209-0357)

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During his career Fred has presented regional programmes made by Southern Television and its successor TVS, including Tell the Truth and Coast to Coast.

In the 1970s he covered regional sport for Yorkshire Television and went on to host the network ITV Saturday afternoon show World of Sport, a role that saw him cover two Olympic Games.

Fred became a household name on the children’s television programme How? and only last year appeared in every episode of a new series of the show, made for CITV.

Fred has anchored the 6pm flagship regional news programme across region ever since 1983 working with presenters such as Fern Britton, Debbie Thrower and Natasha Kaplinsky, beaming into the homes of millions each night.

For the past 12 years Fred has co-hosted ITV News Meridian with Sangeeta Bhabra, who Fred describes as ‘the most marvellous person to work with’.

Paying tribute to her colleague, Sangeeta said: ‘Fred has been the best teacher and co-presenter. I always knew this day would come and though I’m really happy that Fred will be spending more time with his family and doing the things he loves, I will miss him massively along with the Meridian team and our viewers.’

During his career, Fred has interviewed high-profile people in politics, entertainment and sport, from Tony Blair to Dame Vera Lynn and The Beatles.

He has even struck up a close relationship with infamous London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray, having written books and recorded documentaries about the pair.

Michael Jermey, director of ITV News and current affairs, said Fred had been a ‘marvellous friend to so many people’ during his career.

He added: ‘Fred has had one of the most remarkable television careers of anyone in the history of the medium.

‘A familiar and very popular presence on our screens for well over 50 years he has outlasted almost all his peers. There are viewers, who as children, enjoyed watching Fred present How! in the 1960s, who are now themselves retired.

‘Many generations of ITV viewers in the south of England have welcomed Fred into their homes every evening as the presenter of the local ITV regional news. He'll be greatly missed on the nightly programme.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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