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Stellar Virgin Media Television thanks Matt Cooper following decision to step down as Tonight Show host

'Holidays have confirmed it for me. Need to reduce the working hours a bit, enjoy more flexibility in the evenings'

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Broadcaster Matt Cooper

Broadcaster Matt Cooper

Broadcaster Matt Cooper

Virgin Media Television has thanked Matt Cooper for his “stellar contribution to current affairs broadcasting”, following the broadcaster’s sudden announcement that he is stepping down as host of the Tonight Show.

Mr Cooper took to Twitter to reveal he had made the decision to step back from his current role on the show after four years to free up his evenings.

He told his followers: “Holidays have confirmed it for me. Need to reduce the working hours a bit, enjoy more flexibility in the evenings after @lstwrd @TodayFM finishes at 7pm.

“So not returning to #tonightvmtv. Have enjoyed the last four years greatly and thanks to all at @VirginMedia_TV.’

Although he will be leaving the Virgin Media current affairs programme, he confirmed that he has no plans to stay off television programming.

He added in a subsequent tweet: “I will be working on other TV projects so you may see as well as hear me again soon.”

Virgin Media Television tweeted this morning: “He is a great colleague on and off screen and has been central to the success of The Tonight Show.”

It was followed by numerous messages from fans who wished Matt well.

Many have paid tribute to Mr Cooper, saying the broadcaster “will be missed” and that he will be “a loss to the programme”.

“Good call Matt! Best of luck with it all,” one person tweeted.

Another added: “Best of luck, Matt. You will be missed. Work smarter, not longer!

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One other person said: “You’ll be missed around Ballymount, Matt. Best of luck with everything. Enjoy having your evenings back.

The journalist had been at the helm of the show each night, after already broadcasting on his Last Word programme on Today FM.

Former Ireland AM presenter Ciara Doherty had moved to The Tonight Show after Ivan Yeates departed in July 2020 and she was then followed by Claire Brock who joined the team in May.

The Tonight Show began in 2017, replacing Tonight with Vincent Browne.

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