Libby Purves has decided not to present a new Radio 4 theatre programme being launched to partly replace Midweek which is being axed in March after 34 years.
It was announced that the former Times theatre critic, who has hosted Midweek since 1983, would be presenting a new monthly BBC theatre show.
But the BBC said today: “Libby has since decided that she will not be presenting the programme and Radio 4 will confirm new arrangements for the show in the coming months.”
Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams said: “We are sorry to hear that Libby has decided not to take on the presenting duties for Radio 4’s new monthly theatre programme as planned.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Libby again for her years as the brilliant host of Midweek, which comes to an end in March 2017, and I look forward to hearing her back on Radio 4 this autumn to present her documentary on the creation of The Bridge Theatre in London.”
Radio 4 is also launching a “presenter-free” half hour arts interview programme which will air on Wednesday mornings at 9am in the Midweek slot. There will be 24 programmes a year and it will share the slot with “other arts and factual commissions”.