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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 April 2006, 12:34 GMT 13:34 UK
Ford presents final news bulletin
Anna Ford and Sophie Raworth
Sophie Raworth (right) said Anna would be "a hard act to follow"

Veteran broadcaster Anna Ford, 62, has presented her last BBC One news bulletin, bringing her 27-year newsreading career to a close.

"It definitely feels like the end of an era," she told BBC Breakfast, saying it felt like she was "leaving school".

"I've come to the end of the road. I'm not stretched by it any longer. I want to do something new."

Ford has presented the One O'Clock News on BBC One since 1999. Her place will be taken by Sophie Raworth.

"As you may have heard, this is my last news broadcast. I'm off to do new things," she told viewers, before introducing a montage of moments from her TV career, from her days as a reporter with Granada TV to her more recent career with the BBC.

Speaking to BBC Radio Five Live, Ford said she was feeling "rather elated" and "footloose and fancy free".

I've firmly shut that door without knowing what was going to happen to me and it's rather exciting
Anna Ford
"I made the decision over a year ago that I would say to the BBC that I didn't want another contract," the former TV-am presenter said.

"I've firmly shut that door without knowing what was going to happen to me and I think it's rather exciting."

Ford joined the BBC in 1976 but left for ITN in 1978.

She returned to the corporation in 1986, becoming one of its most respected broadcasters.

Ford, who announced her retirement in October, has not revealed her future plans but said she is "going to have some fun".


SEE ALSO:
Ford's years reading and making news
27 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Raworth to front lunchtime news
15 Feb 06 |  Entertainment
Newsreader Ford retiring from BBC
30 Oct 05 |  Entertainment
Ford hits back at Buerk remarks
17 Aug 05 |  Entertainment
Raworth covers for Ford's ailing voice
24 Feb 03 |  Entertainment


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