McDonald to front "News at Ten" for last time

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LONDON (Reuters) - Trevor McDonald will present “News At Ten,” ITV’s flagship bulletin, for the final time on Thursday, three years after he last retired from presenting the channel’s late evening news show.

McDonald, 69, came out of retirement at the beginning of this year to return to presenting News At Ten, which was reintroduced by ITV for the second time on January 14.

“I’ve tremendously enjoyed the opportunity to help re-establish News at Ten over the last year ... but I’ve made no secret of the fact that I cannot be in the presenter’s chair forever,” McDonald said.

“Anchoring ITV News’s live coverage of a hugely exciting and historic U.S. election seems the opportune moment to leave on a high.”

McDonald had previously presented News At Ten from 1992 until 1999, when it was axed to allow uninterrupted broadcast of dramas and films, and returned to the show when it was reintroduced two years later.

After it was axed for the second time in 2003 due to poor ratings, McDonald moved to presenting its 10:30 p.m. replacement “Late Evening News” until his retirement in 2005.

McDonald, who was born in Trinidad, joined ITN as a general reporter 35 years ago. Over his career he has carried out a number of high profile interviews, including the first British television interview with Nelson Mandela after his release.

Mark Austin will replace McDonald on News at Ten, joining co-presenter Julie Etchingham.

An ITV spokesman said McDonald will continue hosting the National Television Awards and working on ITV’s current affairs Tonight programme.

Editing by Steve Addison