Channel 4 News political correspondent Michael Crick has announced his sudden departure from the broadcaster.
Crick tweeted last night that he has left after seven-and-a-half years with plans to go freelance and write books.
The 60-year-old said: “I have left Channel 4 News and ITN after seven and a half great years. Farewell to all my fabulous colleagues.
“I’m looking forward to an exciting new life writing books again, and all sorts of other activity in journalism and other fields.”
Emails to Crick’s ITN address already receive the automatic reply “Michael has left Channel 4 News” with a redirect to the programme’s Westminster news editor Martha Finlay.
Crick has been in his current stint at Channel 4 News since 2011, but was originally one of the team’s founding members in 1982, aged 24.
He left for the first time in 1990, after two years as Westminster correspondent, when he moved to the BBC for 21 years, ending his time there as Newsnight’s political editor.
Crick has already published biographies of public figures including former football manager Sir Alex Ferguson, novelist and ex-politician Jeffrey Archer, and Haymarket Media Group founder and former Deputy Prime Minister Michael Heseltine.
Channel 4 News editor Ben de Pear emailed staff yesterday to share the news.
In the email, seen by Press Gazette, he said: “One of Britain’s most experienced and decorated TV news correspondents, his latest spell with the programme coincides with the busiest period in recent political history and he was recognised as Specialist Journalist of the Year twice at the RTS Journalism Awards within five years.
“In 2018 Michael won the prestigious Charles Wheeler Award for Excellence in Broadcasting for his forensic investigative skills and obsessive eye for detail.
“His relentless drive has resulted in a string of scoops including most recently the election expenses scandal and changing the very nature of the coverage of the 2017 election campaign.
“His pursuit of politicians resulted in some of the most memorable and longest doorsteps in television news history.
“Michael now plans to get back to writing books, and to pursue other forms of journalism as a freelance.”
Channel 4 News took home seven awards at the Royal Television Society awards in February, including the prize for daily news programme.
Picture: Channel 4