Christian O’Connell is leaving Absolute Radio as its breakfast host after 12 years.
The radio presenter announced the news live on air on Tuesday’s broadcast, which marked the 12th anniversary of the show.
O’Connell told listeners he has had “an amazing ride” and that “to survive this long in the murky world of commercial radio and doing breakfast shows is incredible”.
“I’ve been really lucky that Absolute Radio have given me so much freedom to do the show my own way,” he said.
He did not reveal what his next job will be, but said it was “an amazing opportunity that’s come into my life in the last couple of months” and could not turn it down.
He said it was with a “heavy heart” to announce his departure, and that it had been “a very emotional and hard decision”.
“It’s not just a job for me, not just a radio show,” he said of his Absolute Radio role. “It’s part of me, I deeply love it. How lucky, for the last 10 years, I get to come in here every morning with one of my oldest friends and I’m paid to laugh.”
O’Connell, who has hosted the programme with Richie Firth for 10 years, thanked his listeners for their support.
He later tweeted: “So thats my news. I’m leaving my radio home for the last 12yrs @absoluteradio.
“I’m heading off to a big new adventure. Tell you what very soon but for now… I have such a heavy heart but its also full of gratitude and love at what I’ve been lucky enough to have in my life.”
He will leave Absolute Radio later in the year.
O’Connell, 44, joined the radio station as the presenter of the breakfast show in January 2006 when it was known as Virgin Radio.
He previously hosted a breakfast show at indie music station Xfm for four years, after starting his radio hosting career in 1998 at 2CR Radio in Bournemouth.
The DJ has won several leading industry awards during his career, including 11 Sony Radio Academy Gold awards.