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Sue MacGregor has decided to stand down as host of BBC Radio 4’s The Reunion after 16 years, having presented the programme since its first edition in 2003.

She has hosted 163 episodes during her time on the programme, reuniting people who are part of major news, social or cultural movements. Some of her most memorable editions include an emotional gathering of Robben Island prisoners in Cape Town, reuniting the IRA bomber of The Grand Hotel with some of his victims, and bringing together the 1953 Coronation Maids of Honour.

Sue’s final programme, broadcast on Radio 4 last month and available to listen to on BBC Sounds, reunited cast and crew from the original stage version of the musical Cats.

Sue has worked for Radio 4 for 52 years, joining the BBC Home Service in 1967, shortly before it became Radio 4. She has presented The World At One, Woman’s Hour and Today. Before joining the BBC, Sue worked in the Cape Town studios of the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

Sue MacGregor says: “It’s been an enormous privilege to present The Reunion and I will always be grateful to the series creator David Prest for asking me to be its presenter. We’ve had some memorable encounters in the studio over the years and I’ll miss being part of it enormously. Why am I stepping down? I can only explain it with the phrase amateur ski-ers (like me) often use to decide when to stop – call a halt when you’ve still got one good run in you. I’ve reached that point now I think, and I wish my successor as much enjoyment out of the programme as I’ve had.”

Mohit Bakaya, Controller of BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra, says: “Sue is a brilliant broadcaster, with a keen journalistic eye. Since 2003 she has presided over The Reunion with a calm authority, bringing the best out of her guests and creating radio moments which have stayed long in the memory. I wish her well with whatever she chooses to do next. Radio 4 and our audience will miss her enormously.”

The Reunion will return to BBC Radio 4 in April 2020 and a new host will be appointed in due course.

The Reunion is a Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.