He spent 37 years reporting the news – but the BBC presenter Look East himself became a headline after announcing live on air that he was leaving the program.
The presenter revealed the information after the 6.30 p.m. broadcast of the television news on Thursday, a decision he had kept secret from his colleagues.
He said: “Tonight is my last night at the BBC.
“I came here 37 years ago, presented 8,000 editions of Look East and loved every minute of it.
“I have worked with a lot of talented people and interviewed some of the most powerful people in the country, and I have met so many of you who have done great things.”
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“There were nights I celebrated success, nights I held people to account, and nights I came face to face with the darkest human nature.
“What matters most to me, and it matters every night, is that night after night you trusted me to tell you what’s going on and why.
“I never took this for granted.”
The broadcasting giant became a BBC Look East presenter in 1984 and has maintained its ties with Norfolk by presenting weekly programs for BBC Radio Norfolk.
Mr White has won numerous awards, including the Royal Television Society award for Regional TV Presenter of the Year in 2013, and again in 2014 for his work on BBC Look East.
During his career, the journalist has interviewed people such as former Prime Minister Edward Heath, actress Joan Collins and singer Michael Jackson – the last British journalist to conduct a live interview with him.
Nigel Pickover, journalist and former EDP editor, was watching when the announcement was made.
He said: “It was an extremely moving surprise farewell from Stewart, one of the mainstays of the BBC’s regional news network.
After 8,000 editions, he can boast of an incredible career and I have had the chance to meet him on several occasions.
“He will have left many in tears with his gracious words – just hold him together at the end of the show.
“A television gentleman, he was our living room friend, always trustworthy and honorable.”