Matthew Wright quits The Wright Stuff after 18 years

Matthew Wright has announced he’s quit his Channel 5 show The Wright Stuff after 18 years.

The host, 52, revealed the huge news live on air today.

Earlier, he’d teased the news on Twitter, telling fans: "Big, big announcement coming later btw…."

In a statement, the presenter revealed his decision.

"After almost 18 glorious years on Channel 5 and with the show flying high in the ratings, I feel it’s time to depart," he said, adding that it is time to "try something new".

He later tweeted to reveal his relief at giving up the early starts.

"8.5 years of 4am starts and 8pm bed times. Can’t wait to rejoin the human race…" he told followers.

And when one fan cheekily suggested he was set to join Celebrity Love Island, Matthew shot back: "I am not!!"

Ben Frow, director of programmes at Channel 5, said Wright would be "sorely missed".

"We would like to thank Matthew for his passion, hard work and enthusiasm over the last 18 years and for making the show what it is today.

"He will be sorely missed and we wish him all the very best for the future."

It’s since emerged the real reason behind his decision to step down was linked to Matthew’s refusal to apologise for a transgender quip one of his guests made back in March.

The Chase star Anne Hegerty took a swipe at transgender activist Paris Lees while they were discussing the gender pay gap – causing an awkward scene.

And reports at the time claimed Wright was whisked into "crisis talks" with show bosses and told to apologise – or he would be allowed to host the next day’s show.

Matthew has been hosting his self-titled morning chat show since it launched in 2000.

It regularly deals with difficult topics and tricky subjects.

Just a few weeks ago, Wright was singing the praises of Channel 5’s new studios.

"The show is 18 years old this year and due to our former building being sold to convert into luxury flats we’re now at ITN and the show has been overhauled," he told viewers.

"We’ve got a new set, new guests and we can now do live links to the US to interview people like Meghan Markle’s sister."

It’s not yet known whether Channel 5 will decide to rename the show with a new host – or scrap it altogether.

Mirror Online has contacted ITN for comment.

In March this year, Matthew got emotional as he opened up about the death of his 16-year-old nephew in a car crash in 2011.

Max, who had been best man at Matthew’s wedding, told viewers: "I lost my nephew in a car crash when he was only 16 and blaming yourself is never going to do any good, and in this instance it’s ‘there but for the grace of god’.

"It could happen to anybody and it’s overwhelmingly sad and I don’t blame her for feeling like that but hopefully, one day…"

He’d previously explained how he’d always think of Max.

"I will carry the grief of that tragedy in my heart for the rest of my days," Wright said at the time.

As well as presenting, Matthew tried his hand at reality TV in 2013 when he joined the I’m A Celebrity line-up to tackle his phobias.

Before going into the jungle, he revealed: "I have a terror of spiders and based on the fact that I have seen every I’m A Celebrity so far, I will say, hand on heart, you have never seen anyone quite as frightened of spiders than me.

"I don’t need to do the show for job reasons. I am doing the show to deal with my issues.

"It’s not just spiders. I have a fear of heights, I don’t like creepy crawlies and I am quite a fearful person underneath my tough, journalistic exterior," he went on.

"It’s getting worse as I am getting older. I have to put a stop to it and this is my decision."

Matthew won over fans in the jungle by getting stuck in to all the tasks – and ‘doing a Myleene Klass’ by stripping down to a white bikini under the famous waterfall.

More recently, he and another I’m A Celeb campmate almost came to blows live on air as they disagreed over a certain line of questioning.

Iain Lee stormed off The Wright Stuff in March after Matthew raised the topic of his divorce from wife Helen, which he’d spoken about on his TALKsport radio show.

"That stuff’s private…You’re talking about my private life," Iain fumed after Matthew asked him about his marriage.

"Can it be private if you talked about it on your radio show?" Matthew questioned.

Iain then snapped: "I’m so close to telling you to eff off and walking off this show right now."

Matthew replied: "If that’s what you want to do…"

Iain said he’d told The Wright Stuff’s producers three separate times that he wasn’t going to talk about his marriage.

He stayed silent for the rest of the segment and left during the ad break, leaving an empty space on the panel when the show returned.

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