Fred Dinenage to leave ITV Meridian at Christmas

Fred Dinenage will leave ITV Meridian at Christmas 2021

After nearly four decades, one of ITV’s longest serving regional news anchors, Fred Dinenage is to leave ITV News Meridian at Christmas.

Fred said: "After almost thirty eight years co-presenting the ITV six o'clock show in the south and south east I've finally decided to hang up my microphone.

"It's been a really tough decision but I now want to spend a few years with my wife, Beverley, and our three dogs smelling the roses in my garden and spending time in the mountains of Austria.

“I will be continuing with my crime programmes and ITV's How! and writing books, including one recently commissioned."

“But now I feel it is the right time to move on. I will miss my dear co-presenter, Sangeeta, and my colleagues at ITV Meridian terribly. And, of course, I will miss our wonderful viewers who have given me such incredible love and support for so long.

“I've been so lucky in my life and career - fifty eight years working non-stop on regional and network programmes with ITV and I've been blessed by having a truly special family.  So, to everyone - thank you."

Fred presenting the Meridian Tonight programme
Fred and his favourite 'Fred' mug

During his career Fred has presented regional programmes made by Southern Television and its successor TVS, including Tell the Truth and Coast to Coast.

In the 1970s he covered regional sport for Yorkshire Television and went on to host the network ITV Saturday afternoon show World of Sport, a role that saw him cover two Olympic Games.

Fred became a household name on the children’s television programme How? and only last year appeared in every episode of a new series of the show, made for CITV.  

Fred presenting How!

Fred has anchored the 6pm flagship regional news programme across the South of England ever since 1983 working with presenters such as Fern Britton, Debbie Thrower and Natasha Kaplinsky.

For the past 12 years Fred has co-hosted ITV News Meridian with Sangeeta Bhabra, who Fred describes as "the most marvellous person to work with."

Fred and Sangeeta presenting the ITV Meridian programme from its studio in Hampshire

Fred and Sangeeta were forced to get used to a different way of working when the UK was placed into lockdown in March 2020.

Fred, working from home spent months working on the ‘Daily Dinenage’ segment for the flagship 6pm programme, often featuring his dog Dave Dinenage.

Fred, and of course Dave the dog!, kept in touch during the Coronavirus lockdowns broadcasting from home

It was difficult for Fred to be away from the studio for so long, but he remained on our screens with his familiar wit and professionalism. In July 2020, Fred and Sangeeta were reunited once again at Fred’s home in Hampshire.

Fred has won RTS awards for many of the news programmes he has worked on and in 2010 was given an MBE for services to broadcasting. 

Fred has covered many big stories during his career, from the murder of Sarah Payne, to the Salisbury Novichok poisonings and the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. 

Fred in Portsmouth covering the 75th anniversary of D-Day

Fred has also interviewed high profile people in politics, entertainment and sport, from Tony Blair to Dame Vera Lynn and The Beatles. 

Paying tribute to Fred, Director of ITV News and Current Affairs Michael Jermey said, "Fred has had one of the most remarkable television careers of anyone in the history of the medium. A familiar and very popular presence on our screens for well over 50 years he has outlasted almost all his peers. There are viewers, who as children, enjoyed watching Fred present How! in the 1960s, who are now themselves retired.

"Many generations of ITV viewers in the south of England have welcomed Fred into their homes every evening as the presenter of the local ITV regional news. He'll be greatly missed on the nightly programme. We won't now see him on TV every day but we will look forward to the occasional appearances that Fred intends to continue to make.

"Fred has been a marvellous friend to so many people at ITV down the years. We wish him all the very best for the future."

The Head of News at ITV Meridian, Alison Nice, has worked with Fred for the last sixteen years.

Fred with ITV Meridian's Alison Nice

Fred will leave ITV Meridian in December to spend more time with his family and to work on other projects.