One of the longest-serving faces on Midlands television is to retire after four decades of service.
Midlands Today presenter Kay Alexander will record her final BBC1 broadcast at lunchtime on Tuesday, October 30, after earlier presenting the regional bulletins during Breakfast.
She will then be seen once more on Halloween – the night her contract expires.
After selecting film clips from her own VHS archive, she will be a special guest on Midlands Today on Wednesday, October 31. Ms Alexander said she could have stayed longer, but felt the time was right to go.
“My husband, Brian, has been retired for a year,” she said.
“I realised I was envious when I had to get up at 3.25am and he said, ‘I’ve no idea what I’ll do tomorrow’.
“From the moment I said I was going to stop, I’ve never looked back.”
Originally from Aldershot and one of three children born to a doctor mother and an aeronautical engineer, Ms Alexander was educated at a private school before reading English at the University of Birmingham.
After needing an appendix operation during a post-graduate course in teaching, Kay used the break to think about changing her career plans. Instead of pursuing her first love of acting, she decided to try broadcasting.
Within a week of arriving at the BBC, she was contributing to Woman’s Hour on Radio 4, You and Yours, and was on the first Checkpoint show with Roger Cook.
Soon she had moved over to television to be a continuity announcer and read the news.
“It seemed like a natural and easy thing to do,” she said. Ms Alexander’s on-air partners included Tom Coyne, Alan Towers, Sue Beardsmore, Kathy Rochford and Brian Conway – to whom she has been married for 24 years.
“He came over from Radio Leicester and the first time we met we just talked for hours,” said Kay, who has a daughter and son, a stepson and two-year-old grandson, Archie.
In 1992, she voluntarily left the evening programmes to start at breakfast.
“Those hours suited me when the children started to take their exams and I’m lucky I’ve never needed much sleep,” she said.