TV's Wesley says fond farewell

Wesley Smith

A very young Wesley

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

Long-serving newsreader Wesley Smith will tonight say an emotional farewell to ITV viewers across Oxfordshire.

Mr Smith has been the face of local ITV news for more than 20 years, and will this evening present his last Thames Valley Tonight, broadcast at 6pm.

Mr Smith, 45, who lives near Oxford, started presenting Central News bulletins from Birmingham in 1987, before the Central South studios opened in Abingdon in 1989.

He co-presented the news programme with Ann Dawson for more than 13 years, in one of the longest partnerships in television news.

With the demise of Central South News in 2006, he joined Thames Valley Tonight, and has been presenting the show from a studio in Fareham, near Portsmouth.

Mr Smith said: “Tonight I will be presenting the programme with Hannah Shelswell, and Mary Green will also be appearing.

“At the end of the programme, we will take a few minutes to look back over the highlights of Thames Valley Tonight, and we will say a final farewell to viewers.

“I think it is very important to acknowledge the viewers who have supported us over the years.”

Mr Smith said he wanted to thank viewers who had written to him, or sent him an email, to say how much he would be missed.

“I have received lots of letters and emails and I feel bolstered by that,” he told the Oxford Mail.

“I am really touched by the support of the viewers and that’s when you begin to feel a bit emotional about it, but I am trying to stay as upbeat as I can.”

However he will not miss the 150-mile round trip to the South Coast.

He added: “I like living near Oxford and I am looking forward to spending a bit more time here.

“I will try to do more presenting, but I genuinely want to spend some time doing something different.

“That could be through establishing links in the community, and doing website work, videos and public relations.

“It was very sad when Central South ended in 2006, and no-one expected the same thing to happen to Thames Valley Tonight just a few years down the line.

“The first bulletin I did for Central was at 1am on Halloween in 1987 and I went on from there.”

The final Thames Valley Tonight programme will be presented by Mark Lipscomb on Sunday, and the show is being replaced by Meridian Tonight, presented by Fred Dinenage, of children’s TV favourite How! and Sangeeta Bhabra.

It will cover Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Dorset, Surrey, the Isle of Wight and part of Sussex.

affrench@oxfordmail.co.uk

Comments (11)

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7:51am Fri 6 Feb 09

Foxy Lady says...

I will miss you Wesley, you were warm and comforting, like a pair of well worn slippers - but obviously in a lovely way.

I think it is a disgrace that we are loosing our local news - sorry but why do I need to know whats going on in the Isle of Wight for example or Surrey? Emalgamating the news is ridiculous!!!!

Bye bye Wesley my dear.
I will miss you Wesley, you were warm and comforting, like a pair of well worn slippers - but obviously in a lovely way. I think it is a disgrace that we are loosing our local news - sorry but why do I need to know whats going on in the Isle of Wight for example or Surrey? Emalgamating the news is ridiculous!!!! Bye bye Wesley my dear. Foxy Lady
  • Score: 0

7:55am Fri 6 Feb 09

kimmi says...

goodbye wesley.good luck for the future.we will miss you.take care.
goodbye wesley.good luck for the future.we will miss you.take care. kimmi
  • Score: 0

8:08am Fri 6 Feb 09

Sid Hunt says...

Quite agree FL; it's just a further lowering of broadcasting standards. Thank goodness for 15 minutes of Geraldine!
Quite agree FL; it's just a further lowering of broadcasting standards. Thank goodness for 15 minutes of Geraldine! Sid Hunt
  • Score: 0

8:14am Fri 6 Feb 09

JK says...

Wesley, you will be greatly missed - that's the end of any local news for this area. Hope we see you back on our screens soon!
Wesley, you will be greatly missed - that's the end of any local news for this area. Hope we see you back on our screens soon! JK
  • Score: 0

8:31am Fri 6 Feb 09

tanchris says...

all -or at least ,most- t.v. now is crap.W.S is a local institution and its a tragedy thats he's going.
all -or at least ,most- t.v. now is crap.W.S is a local institution and its a tragedy thats he's going. tanchris
  • Score: 0

9:13am Fri 6 Feb 09

Zimmer says...

Sid Hunt wrote:
Quite agree FL; it's just a further lowering of broadcasting standards. Thank goodness for 15 minutes of Geraldine!
Oxfordshire is becoming a 'Black Hole' in TV land. Is Radio Oxford next as the BBC have cut most of the TV Coverage for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire from the evening bulletins. Except on Fridays I don't watch after 6.43pm week days, why do I need to know that the Isle of Wight has an outbreak of constipation or that the lift has stuck on the Spinnaker Tower yet again from the mouth of 'Miss High and Mighty Taylor'. Come on BBC lets have a bit more of Jerome and Geraldine with news of Oxon and Bucks.
[quote][p][bold]Sid Hunt[/bold] wrote: Quite agree FL; it's just a further lowering of broadcasting standards. Thank goodness for 15 minutes of Geraldine![/p][/quote]Oxfordshire is becoming a 'Black Hole' in TV land. Is Radio Oxford next as the BBC have cut most of the TV Coverage for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire from the evening bulletins. Except on Fridays I don't watch after 6.43pm week days, why do I need to know that the Isle of Wight has an outbreak of constipation or that the lift has stuck on the Spinnaker Tower yet again from the mouth of 'Miss High and Mighty Taylor'. Come on BBC lets have a bit more of Jerome and Geraldine with news of Oxon and Bucks. Zimmer
  • Score: 0

9:26am Fri 6 Feb 09

barford says...

How do you know Wes's final bulletin will be emotional before he actually delivers it? Isn't this typical of the wet society we have become: so-called 'emotion' being switched on and off at will?
How do you know Wes's final bulletin will be emotional before he actually delivers it? Isn't this typical of the wet society we have become: so-called 'emotion' being switched on and off at will? barford
  • Score: 0

10:10am Fri 6 Feb 09

dillbert says...

barford wrote:
How do you know Wes's final bulletin will be emotional before he actually delivers it? Isn't this typical of the wet society we have become: so-called 'emotion' being switched on and off at will?
The reason the Mail knows that it will be emotional, is probably due to the fact that it was 'recorded earlier', ITV are so late with the small amount of local news that we get that sometimes I think its last weeks news. For me ITV stopped covering local news some time ago. Wesley may be missed, but ITV news coverage certainly will not.
[quote][p][bold]barford[/bold] wrote: How do you know Wes's final bulletin will be emotional before he actually delivers it? Isn't this typical of the wet society we have become: so-called 'emotion' being switched on and off at will?[/p][/quote]The reason the Mail knows that it will be emotional, is probably due to the fact that it was 'recorded earlier', ITV are so late with the small amount of local news that we get that sometimes I think its last weeks news. For me ITV stopped covering local news some time ago. Wesley may be missed, but ITV news coverage certainly will not. dillbert
  • Score: 0

2:42pm Fri 6 Feb 09

Whitto says...

Bye Wes, close the door behind you as we will be having a party once you've gone!
Bye Wes, close the door behind you as we will be having a party once you've gone! Whitto
  • Score: 0

3:00pm Fri 6 Feb 09

Sophia says...

what is the point of 'local' news that includes us with Sussex and Surrey? Its a nonsense.
what is the point of 'local' news that includes us with Sussex and Surrey? Its a nonsense. Sophia
  • Score: 0

8:21pm Fri 6 Feb 09

oxmale says...

It will only get worse. Fox FM's rebranding and the death of local ITV news - we have never even been in the Meridian region, why give us their news? Ofcom are just too scared to say no. Hope the Oxford Mail is sitting comfortably...
It will only get worse. Fox FM's rebranding and the death of local ITV news - we have never even been in the Meridian region, why give us their news? Ofcom are just too scared to say no. Hope the Oxford Mail is sitting comfortably... oxmale
  • Score: 0
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