Presenter Jonty Messer says goodbye to ITV West Country after 12 years

  • Watch highlights from Jonty's time with ITV West Country

ITV News West Country presenter Jonty Messer is leaving the programme to take up a new challenge away from television.

Jonty started at the studios in 2010 as an online journalist, creating sports and news content and expanding the station's social media presence.

His potential was quickly spotted and he went on to become ITV West Country's sport reporter and then early morning presenter before finding his home as anchor next to Kylie Pentelow.

Jonty reporting live for ITV West Country. Credit: ITV West Country

The father-of-two, who grew up in Wiltshire, is a real 'all-rounder' and has covered a wide range of features and news stories in his time at ITV.

He said: "After 12 years with ITV West Country and 15 as a journalist in the South West, I have made the incredibly hard decision to leave news and television to take up a new challenge. 

"This is not a decision I have taken lightly and I am genuinely sad to be leaving what I consider the best job in regional news and the best team in the business.

Jonty has interviewed plenty of celebrities - including swimmer Ellie Simmonds on a water ride. Credit: ITV West Country

"To present the programme in my home patch is the only job I have ever wanted, however, the opportunity to learn new skills in a new environment is one I couldn’t turn down.

"Presenting the programme has been an unforgettable experience - I've interviewed celebrities and politicians, covered General Elections, the death of Prince Philip, Brexit and the pandemic.

Jonty tries the world's hottest chilli - see what happens next in our highlights video. Credit: ITV West Country

"I've been live at Cheltenham Festival and switched on Plymouth's Christmas Lights. I've been strapped to the top of a plane and eaten the world's hottest chilli - and loved every minute of it.

"But what I will miss the most is my lovely hard-working colleagues and you, the viewers, who have allowed me into your living room every evening to bring you your local news and celebrate our wonderful region. You are a kind, funny and passionate bunch and I've loved every minute of my time on air with you at 6pm. It's never felt like work and I'll miss it hugely."

Jonty and Kylie presenting ITV West Country's main news programme. Credit: ITV West Country

Jonty's co-presenter, Kylie Pentelow, who is currently on maternity leave, says she will miss him very much.

In a message to Jonty she said: "So sorry you are leaving. I absolutely love working with you. You are a true gentleman, a great presenter and a lovely friend."

ITV News will announce details of who is going to replace Jonty in early autumn.