Mark Austin leaves ITV News
Mark Austin is leaving 'ITV News' after three decades to pursue other opportunities
Mark Austin has quit 'ITV News'.
The 57-year-old award-winning journalist has decided to call time on his presenting career on the ITN produced channel after 30 years to pursue other opportunities and, while he is leaving with "a heavy heart", he is "excited" about the future.
Speaking in a statement, he said: "This week marks 30 years at ITN, three decades when I've enjoyed some of the best jobs in television news, travelling the world, reporting and anchoring on the biggest stories and working with some of the most talented people in the business.
"It was a great honour to present 'News at Ten' and the 'Evening News' for so many years and a privilege to be part of the great tradition of ITN journalism and all it stands for.
"I'm proud of what we achieved. But new opportunities present themselves and now is the time to pursue those challenges.
" I leave my friends and colleagues at ITV News with a heavy heart but excited about what lies ahead."
Mark has presented 'ITV Evening News' since October 2015 and he was a news anchor on 'News at Ten' for eight years with Julie Etchingham.
Mark has won several awards for his groundbreaking journalism, which over the years has seen him interview the likes of Prince William, Bob Geldof, Tony Blair and Nelson and Winnie Mandela, including an Emmy for his coverage of floods in Mozambique and several BAFTA and Royal Television Society accolades.
The editor of 'ITV News', Geoff Hill, has hailed Mark as a "consummate professional" and believes he'll be "sorely missed" by his colleagues and viewers.
He explained: "Mark is one of the finest foreign correspondents and presenters ever to have worked in this business. He is a gifted journalist and storyteller and a natural in the field. I've worked with him around the world and on live programmes, and he's a consummate professional. He's one of the most popular and highly respected members of the 'ITV News' team, and he'll be sorely missed."
Mark's career started in 1982 when he joined the BBC as a newsroom writer, before becoming a general news reporter in 1982.
He later joined ITN in October 1986 as sports correspondent.