ITV Evening News host Mark Austin quits ITN after 30 years with the broadcaster

  • Mark Austin to leave ITV News after 30 years working for the channel
  • Evening News presenter will step down from job at the end of the year
  • The 57-year-old started out with BBC and worked in sports before news
  • He has interviewed Nelson Mandela, Prince William and Desmond Tutu
  • Austin also presented ITV reality desert island show Survivor for two years 

Award-winning broadcaster Mark Austin is stepping down from his ITV newsreader role at the end of the year

Broadcaster Mark Austin is leaving ITV News after 30 years working for the channel.

The award-winning journalist currently presents the ITV Evening News and previously anchored News at Ten for eight years alongside Julie Etchingham.

Over the last three decades he has presented on location from places as challenging as the Antarctic, the Israel/Gaza border, Libya, Haiti, Nepal, Mogadishu, Iraq and Afghanistan. 

During that time he has also come face to face with some of the most influential people in the world including Nelson Mandela and wife Winnie, Tony Blair, Desmond Tutu and Prince William.

He joined ITN, the company that produces news for ITV, in 1986 as a sports reporter after a spell with the BBC, and will leave the company at the end of the year.

He said: 'This week marks 30 years at ITN, three decades when I've enjoyed some of the best jobs in television news, travelling the world, reporting and anchoring on the biggest stories and working with some of the most talented people in the business.

'It was a great honour to present News at Ten and the Evening News for so many years and a privilege to be part of the great tradition of ITN journalism and all it stands for.

'I'm proud of what we achieved. But new opportunities present themselves and now is the time to pursue those challenges. 

'I leave my friends and colleagues at ITV News with a heavy heart but excited about what lies ahead.'

It is understood that he will continue to work with ITV in the future on documentaries and that he also has plans to do work 'completely different' from news, although these are being kept under wraps. 

Austin and Etchingham's tenure on News at Ten saw the show twice awarded the Royal Television Society Programme of the Year gong.

Before turning to newsreading, Austin was ITV News' Senior Correspondent for fifteen years, based in Africa and Asia, covering many of the most important foreign and domestic news stories of our time and taking him all over the globe.

His coverage of the flooding in Mozambique in 2000 that killed around 700 people earned him an International Emmy Award in the US.

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Austin, left, hosted ITV News at Ten with Julie Etchingham, right, for eight years, winning two Royal Television Society Programme of the Year Awards 

Prior to being a newsreader, Austin was a senior correspondent, covering huge stories including the Bosnian and Kosovan wars and the 2000 flooding disaster in Mozambique for which he won an International Emmy Award in the US (pictured with cameraman Andy Rex)

Among the other major stories he covered as a reporter were the Bosnian war and the fall of Srebrenica in 1995 and the war in Kosovo reporting alongside the Gurkhas on the day NATO troops finally entered. 

He also filed moving reports during the appalling genocide in Rwanda and the civil war that followed and played a key role in ITV's coverage of both Gulf wars. 

While based in Asia, Austin reported on the handover of Hong Kong and the riots in Indonesia and as Africa Correspondent, he witnessed the violence that preceded the transition to democracy in South Africa and Mandela's victory in the country's first real elections.

Most recently, Austin has covered the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, the devastating earthquake in Nepal and terror attacks on the streets of Paris, Nice and Brussels.

As part of his career, Austin, centre, met several influential figures across the world including the Queen, pictured

He also interviewed Prince William on poaching and the environment, pictured

John Hardie, chief executive of ITN, said: 'Mark's contribution to ITN, and to ITV News in particular, cannot be overstated. 

'One of the outstanding broadcast journalists of his generation, for three decades Mark has consistently demonstrated the qualities that have made him such a household name, his integrity, his brilliant foreign reportage and his sincere compassion for those whose story he is telling. 

'I am delighted he will be continuing to work closely with us on developing projects with ITN Productions. I am very sad to see him go.'   

He developed a series on mental health earlier this year and anchored live from Kenya for his special coverage on the poaching issue, which resulted in an exclusive interview with Prince William.

Austin also earned multiple BAFTA and Royal Television Society awards for his work during the Haiti earthquake, the Cumbria murders and the Woolwich Attack, among other stories. 

The Film and Television Festival of New York awarded his coverage of the Bosnian war and the Monte Carlo TV Festival then recognised his reporting of the war in Kosovo with a Golden Nymph in 1999. 

He was named RTS Presenter of the Year in both 2014 and 2015, following a TRIC award in 2010.

Outside of news, Austin hosted ITV's Real Crimes series for three years, pictured, re-examining historic cases including robberies and murders

Geoff Hill, Editor of ITV News, said: 'Mark is one of the finest foreign correspondents and presenters ever to have worked in this business. 

'He is a gifted journalist and storyteller and a natural in the field. I've worked with him around the world and on live programmes, and he's a consummate professional. 

'He's one of the most popular and highly respected members of the ITV News team, and he'll be sorely missed.'

Michael Jermey, ITV's Director of News and Current Affairs, added: 'Over the past 30 years Mark has been one of the finest broadcast journalists, not just on British television, but on television around the world.

'His compassionate, eye witness reporting and expert field presentation has earned him the respect of colleagues and viewers alike.

'I very much hope that Mark will work on future programmes with ITV.'

Mark started his career as a general reporter on the Bournemouth Evening Echo before joining the BBC as a newsroom writer, later becoming one of the youngest national reporters appointed by BBC News, aged just 24. 

Outside of news, he was also the presenter of the UK version of Survivor on ITV between 2001 and 2002.

Austin was also the host of short-lived ITV reality show Survivor, pictured, in which a group of strangers were left to fend themselves on a remote island with the sole winner netting £1m

The reality show challenged a group of strangers to split into two 'tribes' and fend for themselves on an island (Malaysia in the first series and Panama in the second) with participants voted off one-by-one until the final contestant remained, winning a £1million prize. 

In 2008 he began presenting Real Crime with Mark Austin, re-examining a notorious case in each episode.

Sticking to crime, he also hosted ITV's Manhunt, a similar programme to the BBC's Crimewatch in which unsolved cases were presented to the public, who were urged to ring in with information.

Austin lives in Haslemere, Surrey, with his wife Catherine and their three children Jack, Madeleine, and Beatrice.

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