Nihal Arthanayake has announced that he will be stepping down from his BBC Radio 5 Live show next month after eight years as he looks to focus on aspects of his career he 'loves'.

The presenter, 52, who holds the one o'clock radio slot and is known for his insightful interviews, announced his departure via X and shared that his final day will be on 27 June. While many fans were devastated over the news, Nihal assured that he isn't going too far and will now host a Sunday evening show on the station, along with continuing his podcast, Headliners.

He wrote: "Hello everyone, some professional news from me. I am leaving daytimes on @bbc5live to concentrate on the aspect of broadcasting I love most, which is in depth long form interviews, which I will continue to do on @bbc5live on Sunday evenings and the Headliners Podcast.

Nihal in a beige co-ord
Nihal isn't going too far and will now host a Sunday evening show on the station, along with continuing his podcast, Headliners

"I also need more time to finish my second book! And have more time to do the things that I never seem to have time to. Thank you for being such an incredible audience for the last 8 years! My last daytime show will be 27th June. let's have a party," continued Nihal, who published his first non-fiction book, Let's Talk: How to Have Better Conversations, in 2022.

The broadcaster signed off: "Unless there is grim breaking news which I will have to cover. Keep listening!"

A number of fans replied to Nihal's tweet to share their sadness at his departure and wish him well, with one writing: "You'll be missed on a daily basis but the in depth long form interviews you're involved with are always my favourites ... so yay for the second thing here. All the very best."

Nihal posing for a selfie
Nihal is known for his insightful interviews on the airwaves

Another joked that it was a second blow after Liverpool Football Club manager Jurgen Klopp announced he would be stepping down this year, writing: "Ahh man first Klopp now you! This is too much!"Some speculated that Nihal would be moving over to news channel GB News, which he strongly denied by quipping: "GBeebies said I couldn't use long words if I joined their team".

Nihal's departure news comes just weeks after long-serving presenter Garry Richardson announced that he will also be stepping down from BBC Radio Four’s Today programme this autumn. Garry will present the sports news on the early morning programme for the final time on 9 September 9.

The presenter, 68, has been working on BBC Radio Four's Today programme for 33 years, having first joined the team in 1981. He was also the host of the agenda-setting Sportsweek programme on Sunday mornings on BBC Radio 5 Live for 20 years until its final edition in September 2019.