Shock as Red Symons forced off ABC: ‘They haven’t said why’
ABC Radio Melbourne broadcaster Red Symons announced during this morning's show that he is leaving after 15 years
"This will be my last year doing this program on the ABC," he said, intimating that it was not his decision to leave the coveted morning drivetime slot.
"Why am I going? They haven't said and I haven't asked. Other things have been offered here but I think it's better to make a clean break," he continued.
"I shall miss [producers] Katrina Palmer and Ross Kavanagh, I can pretend that I'm doing this alone but I am not. They make me more interesting than I really am.
"And I shall miss you, dear listener. Thank you."
Hear Symons' brief announcement below:
Symons' final show will be next Friday December 8, and ABC Radio has not announced a 2018 replacement for the broadcasting veteran.
It caps off a dramatic year for the former Skyhooks guitarist and Hey Hey It's Saturday favourite, 68, who suffered a '"significant injury to his brain" following a fall in July.
Symons hit the back of his head after falling while walking home from the supermarket on July 5, and took two months off work to recover.
A month earlier, Symons courted controversy for a bizarre podcast in which he asked his guest a succession of offensive questions about her race.
Symons had invited ABC journalist and producer Beverley Wang onto his show to discuss her own newly-launched podcast, It's Not A Race. Her show takes a look at "race, racism, identity, culture and difference" in contemporary Australia.
Symons peppered his interview with questions including "What's the deal with Asians?" and "Are you yellow?" and defended the 2009 Hey, Hey It's Saturday controversy in which a group of Red Faces contestants performed as the Jackson Five in blackface make-up and afro wigs.
The podcast was later deleted from the ABC website, while Symons' fellow ABC colleague Jonathan Green offered the unusual defence that his friend had "never imagined" the podcast "would see the light of day".