A BBC journalist has announced he is leaving his television role after 25 years on the job.

Rob Smith, the presenter of BBC South East Today, has announced he is leaving the broadcaster after 25 years.

The broadcasting veteran told the BBC that it was a "joy" working on the programme.

Mr Smith began his life at the BBC in 1995 as a reporter on BBC Rdio Kent, before moving to South East Today when it launched in 2001.

Natalie Graham will continue as the lead presenter when he signs off on November 3.

He said: "This is a huge decision for me - I joined BBC Radio Kent back in 1995 when we still edited on quarter-inch tape with a razor blade and a chinagraph pencil.

"So much has changed. 25 years of making friendships, and building my life. I met my wife Gemma at Radio Kent, and our home and our family is here in Kent.

"Making live TV news is a team sport, and together we have won three National RTS programme of the year awards - which I believe is a record.

“And there has been so much fun and laughter as well - alongside Polly Evans for many years, and then Natalie Graham more recently - and you really couldn't find two lovelier, funnier, sharper people in the world.

"They're great, and I want to pay tribute to them both - as well as the technical team, producers, camera people, graphics - everyone.”

Reporting for the broadcaster for 25 years, Rob Smith has covered thousands of stories for the media giant, including the Shoreham Airshow disaster and investigations into sexual abuse in Church of England in Sussex.

The father of two made headlines in 2008 when he sailed 2,000 miles around Britain in his yacht - raising £15,000 for charity.

Ten years later, he continued his fundraising efforted when he canoed the Medway for Sport Relief.

Jason Horton, head of the BBC in the South and South East, said: "Rob has been a fixture on our televisions and radios for more than two decades.

"His reassuring presence and outstanding skill as a journalist have won him plaudits across the region - and rightly so."