John Pienaar to leave the BBC after 28 years to join Times Radio

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Veteran political broadcaster John Pienaar is to leave the BBC after 28 years to join the soon-to-launch Times Radio.

Pienaar, who started covering politics for the BBC in 1992, is to be Drive Time presenter on the advert-free News UK station which will be based on the output of the Times and Sunday Times.

Pienaar has worked on all the main BBC news programmes and joined Radio 5 Live in 2002 as chief political correspondent, later presenting his own Sunday show, Pienaar's Politics.

He began his career at the South London Press, completing his NCTJ training at Highbury College, and worked as a political correspondent for The Independent from its launch in 1986 before moving to the BBC.

He announced his move on Twitter this morning:

Embedded rich media on Twitter

Times Radio, which will launch later this year, has already announced that former Radio 5 live producer Tim Levell will be its Programme Director, while Stig Abell - who is editor of the Times Literary Supplement, and was Managing Editor of The Sun until 2016 - is Launch Director.

News UK's Chief Executive, Rebekah Brooks, said the new station will "create a new speech radio outlet to reach an even broader audience who want quality reporting and trusted, expert commentary in real time".