Radio Suffolk legend Mark Murphy is to leave the BBC before Easter as part of the cuts that will slash local broadcasting.

His last weekend show will go out on April 2 - 33 years after he began his BBC career on the same programme.

His programme will be replaced by a show broadcast across East Anglia as part of the BBC cuts to local services.

Mr Murphy reveals his decision to leave the BBC in his column in the East Anglian Daily Times today.

He says: "BBC Local is moving in a new direction and so it’s time for me to move on and let someone else enjoy what I’ve enjoyed for the last 33 years.

"I won’t kid you; it’s been a big decision to walk away from the job I love but I believe the time is right."

It is understood he will break the news to listeners to his Saturday show this morning.

During his time at the station he has presented the Breakfast Show for a total of 17 years, won Sony Radio awards, fronted several highly-successful campaigns and was last year awarded the MBE.

He remembers: "All I ever wanted to do was be on the radio serving my home county and when I heard the BBC was launching Radio Suffolk I was determined to be part of it."

Over the next 10 years he learned the skills of broadcasting, and in 2000 took over the station's flagship morning show.

Mark said: "That was a great time. We reached more people in Suffolk than any other station - we beat Wogan, Radio One, everyone else in the ratings.

"I won my first Sony award in 2003 and we went on to get several more nominations with gold, silver and bronze awards."

He was involved in several campaigns - often in partnership with the EADT and Ipswich Star. Don't be a Tosser helped raise the profile of the state of litter on the roads.

But it was the Treehouse Appeal that led to the development of the Ipswich Children's Hospice that was his highlight.

Last year he received his MBE from Prince William - an award he insists is shared by his team at Radio Suffolk and his listeners.

But although he is leaving the BBC, he insists he is not retiring: "I'm setting up my own media business doing media training, event hosting, that kind of thing."