Chris Vacher Leaves Points West after 30 years

Chris Vacher, presenter of BBC Points West, announced today that he will be retiring in December this year.

Chris is the BBC’s current longest running regional TV presenter having been on Points West since 1983. He has been named Regional TV Personality of the Year by the Royal Television Society and recognised with a BBC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Chris told BBC Points West viewers tonight: “Finally before we go… I’ve some small news about myself for you. I have decided to retire from Points West in December this year. I am actually going to be 60 then – I know, you thought I was much older than that!

“But I am proud to say I’ve been presenting Points West for the last 28 years – it makes me the BBC’s longest running TV news presenter anywhere in the country at the moment. But much as I have loved it and love working with such superb colleagues, I feel it’s time to quit while I’m ahead and enjoy a well earned rest. The team will of course still be at your service every night and I know I leave the programme in exceptionally good hands. Anyway that’s coming up in December… meanwhile you’ll have to put up with me for a little longer! I’m back with the latest in the 10 O’Clock news tonight.”

Chris was brought up near Axminster on the Somerset-Devon border. He was educated at Sherborne School and the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth where he joined the Navy in 1969 as a seaman officer.

Neil Bennett, Editor of BBC Points West, said: “It’s a genuine pleasure to work with Chris. He is a consummate professional and has developed a unique relationship with Points West viewers. Everyone on the programme is going to miss him and he leaves with our heartfelt thanks and very best wishes for the future.”

In 1982 after a year in the BBC Radio Bristol newsroom, Chris turned to television and became a freelance reporter while also doing some basic news-reading. He became one of the team presenting BBC Points West in 1983.

Lucio Mesquita, Head of Region, said: “By leading the programme for nearly 30 years, Chris played a major role in helping make Points West one of the most successful regional news programmes in Britain. Through his authoritative, reassuring and highly professional style he quickly earned the West audience’s respect and he approaches his retirement working in the same way as he started, with considerable humility and never taking his audience’s respect for granted. I have no doubt he will be missed both by his audience and his colleagues in the newsroom.”

One of the longest serving local BBC news presenters was Mike Neville of Look North who hosted the show for the North East over 32 years.