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BBC Radio Suffolk afternoon presenter Lesley Dolphin to retire after four decades in local radio



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A popular BBC Radio Suffolk presenter has announced she is retiring later this year after almost 40 years working in local radio.

Lesley Dolphin, who has been presenting the afternoon show since 2008, said after spending many years saying how lovely Suffolk is, she now wants to spend some time getting out to enjoy it for herself.

The presenter is well-known for her daily Dolphin's Dart competition and longer sofa guest chats on her afternoon show, which is on air from 2pm to 6pm Mondays to Thursdays.

BBC Radio Suffolk's Lesley Dolphin. Picture: BBC Radio Suffolk/Cherry Beesley
BBC Radio Suffolk's Lesley Dolphin. Picture: BBC Radio Suffolk/Cherry Beesley

Lesley, whose career goes back to the 70s when she got her first taste of radio at university, said it has taken her a while to make the move but feels that now is the right time as life gets back to normal after the pandemic.

She is also looking forward to being able to spend more time with her parents who live in the county, Lesley added.

"I have had the most amazing career and will undoubtedly miss it hugely but I am also looking forward to being able to enjoy all the delights that Suffolk has to offer," Lesley said.

Lesley Dolphin has announced she will retire after almost 40 years in local radio. Picture: BBC Radio Suffolk/Cherry Beesley
Lesley Dolphin has announced she will retire after almost 40 years in local radio. Picture: BBC Radio Suffolk/Cherry Beesley

“It has been the hugest privilege to be invited into people’s homes every day and I would like to say a wholehearted thank you to all who have listened and joined in with my show over the years.

Lesley's career included four years as a reporter and newsreader for BBC Radio Norfolk after it launched in September 1980, and then their first afternoon show presenter.

She took a break from the BBC when she became a mum but was back soon afterwards as BBC Radio Suffolk launched in 1990 and since then she has presented just about every show on the station.

Lesley made the afternoons her home, though, becoming one of the best known presenters in local radio.

Lesley has become one of the best known presenters in local radio. Picture: BBC Radio Suffolk
Lesley has become one of the best known presenters in local radio. Picture: BBC Radio Suffolk

Editor Peter Cook said: "Lesley has been a terrific ambassador for the BBC.

"Over the years she has helped with the High Sheriff Awards, run a CPR campaign and walked the length of the Suffolk coast to raise money for a Suffolk Family Carers bus.

"One of her biggest achievements was joining the fundraising team which climbed Kilimanjaro.

Colleagues have paid tribute to Lesley as a 'terrific ambassador' for the BBC. Picture: BBC Radio Suffolk
Colleagues have paid tribute to Lesley as a 'terrific ambassador' for the BBC. Picture: BBC Radio Suffolk

"She broadcast every day, even when she felt ill, and helped the team raise more than £64,000 in the process for the Treehouse appeal to build a Children’s Hospice for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

"Lesley has been a person who wears her heart on her sleeve when it comes to Suffolk and brings that to air every day; her show has been built around her passions and it shines through every time she’s on the radio.”