| 15.1°C Belfast

Sports presenter Denise Watson is latest to join the female exodus out of BBC NI

Close

Denise Watson is leaving the BBC

Denise Watson is leaving the BBC

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -29th April 2010  -  - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

BBCÕs Sarah Travers and the Department for Employment and LearningÕs Permanent Secretary, Alan Shannon with Alastair McCormick as they celebrate his success on being crowned Essential Skills Learner of the Year for 2010 at a ceremony at Hillsborough Castle. Dale Farm employee Alastair, from Ballymena, won the award after undertaking ICT classes, organised through Unite the Union,  which have enabled him to incorporate ICT skills into his daily working routine.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland -29th April 2010 - - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. BBCÕs Sarah Travers and the Department for Employment and LearningÕs Permanent Secretary, Alan Shannon with Alastair McCormick as they celebrate his success on being crowned Essential Skills Learner of the Year for 2010 at a ceremony at Hillsborough Castle. Dale Farm employee Alastair, from Ballymena, won the award after undertaking ICT classes, organised through Unite the Union, which have enabled him to incorporate ICT skills into his daily working routine.

Darren Ireland,Chef and proprietor of Newcastle's new fine dining restaurant Vanilla, pictured with BBC's Yvette Shapiro and  journalist Letitia Fitzpatrick.on the opeing night Picture Bill Smyth

Darren Ireland,Chef and proprietor of Newcastle's new fine dining restaurant Vanilla, pictured with BBC's Yvette Shapiro and journalist Letitia Fitzpatrick.on the opeing night Picture Bill Smyth

20.01.10. Picture by David Fitzgerald. Weekend Magazine. Jackie McCann a Weather Journalist for BBC

20.01.10. Picture by David Fitzgerald. Weekend Magazine. Jackie McCann a Weather Journalist for BBC

/

Denise Watson is leaving the BBC

Sports presenter Denise Watson has quit the BBC after 17 years, it has been confirmed.

Ms Watson is the latest well-known female face to disappear from BBC Northern Ireland screens over the past 12 months.

It is understood Ms Watson, who began her career at the corporation in 1996, will officially leave in August.

The mother-of-two was part of the Irish League Final Score team and worked on the BBC's flagship GAA programme The Championship.

Ms Watson broke the news via her Twitter account on Thursday evening.

She said: "To everyone that has asked. Yes. I have left BBC Sport NI after 17 years. Time for a fresh challenge!" A spokeswoman for the BBC would only confirm the broadcaster had left the corporation.

"Denise Watson has left the BBC. We do not comment on the specifics of individual cases."

Daily Headlines & Evening Telegraph Newsletter

Receive today's headlines directly to your inbox every morning and evening, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

After announcing her departure she received messages via social media wishing her the 'best for the future'.

She replied: "I'm confident in my ability and relishing a fresh challenge! Here's to the future!"

She added that "exciting times" were ahead.

One industry insider had previously said that while it was understandable that the BBC was under financial pressure as a result of the licence fee freeze, it was "disturbing" that the company was "sitting back and watching presenters in their prime" walk away.

When asked to comment on the number of females leaving the BBC in a statement, a spokeswoman said: "A large number of staff have left the BBC over the recent period.

"Almost all of these have been on the basis of voluntary redundancy.

"We understand that post closures can be difficult and work hard to ensure that they are managed in a fair and equitable way."

Ms Watson is the second long-serving female employee to announce they are leaving the BBC this week.

Angelina Fusco, editor of television news at BBC Northern Ireland, will leave at the end of June.

This month it also emerged that journalist Natasha Sayee was leaving the corporation for a new position in an international private sector company.

Earlier this year weather forecaster Jackie McCann and newsreader Sarah Travers quit their jobs, claiming they wanted to spend more time at home.

In 2012 Yvette Shapiro and Julia Paul were among the household names who left as part of the BBC's ongoing voluntary redundancy programme. In 2009 health correspondent Dot Kirby, who had been in the role since 1994, also left.

And in March 2006 popular newsreader Rose Neill left after working for the company for 24 years. She had been the face of BBC NI's flagship programme, Newsline, until she was dropped from the prime post in 2002.


Top Videos



Privacy