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Popular BBC Radio Suffolk presenter James Hazell hits out at BBC after leaving role

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Popular BBC Radio Suffolk presenter James Hazell has hit out at his bosses after having his contract terminated against his wishes.

He made the announcement on social media yesterday after claiming it was not his decision to leave.

In the post on Twitter, he said: "My contract at the BBC has been terminated. This is not my decision.

James Hazell. Picture: BBC Radio Suffolk.
James Hazell. Picture: BBC Radio Suffolk.

"As many of you know I have been fighting depression for many years.

"It seems the fight is not only with the condition but the ignorance of its effects.

"Take care. You will hear me again, one day."

Mr Hazell's post prompted a number of replies from his followers, including Nick Hulme, CEO of the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.

He said: "Have enjoyed working with you over the years even if you did bring my to tears on Christmas Day!

"Thank you for all you have done. Take good care."

Jon Neal, chief executive of Suffolk Mind, said: "Sorry to hear this. The few times we've chatted, your questions were always thoughtful, and intelligent...you made the interview feel like an interesting conversation."

James Hazell presented the 10am-1pm slot on BBC Radio Suffolk.
James Hazell presented the 10am-1pm slot on BBC Radio Suffolk.

A Change.org petition was started two days ago to reinstate the popular radio presenter and has already garnered over 300 signatures.

Jason Tapp, who set up the page, said: "This petition is here for people to sign so that we can get James Hazell back on BBC Radio Suffolk where he rightfully belongs."

"He has been a beaming light to so many throughout the whole Covid-19 pandemic keeping many people sane and informed of local needs etc but not only the last 18 months he has been there for many years and has a fan base far bigger than just local radio."

A BBC spokesperson said: “We can’t discuss publicly details of our relationship with individuals but can confirm that following a thorough and fair internal process James will not be returning to the station.

"We take the wellbeing of everyone who works for us extremely seriously and have been sympathetic and supportive of any health issues during this process.”

Read more: All the latest news from Suffolk