ENTERTAINMENT
18/11/2011 11:02 GMT | Updated 18/11/2011 11:02 GMT

Johnny Vaughan Leaves Capital FM - Why So Sudden?

Johnny Vaughan has left 95.8 Capital FM after nearly eight years as the London station's breakfast DJ. The outspoken presenter parted ways with the station this morning, with immediate effect.

His co-host Lisa Snowdon will continue to front the breakfast show with stand-in Greg Burns from Monday, with a replacement full time co-host to be announced by the Global Radio-owned station in due course.

In a statement Vaughan said: "I have just loved doing this job, but after all these years of getting up in the middle of the night, I really think the time is right to hand over the microphone to someone else.

"It's been a joy waking up London every morning and a thrill to have been part of the broadcasting tapestry of this great city."

Vaughan took over the show from Chris Tarrant in 2004 and, according to the latest radio audience figures from Rajar, Vaughan commanded an audience of 1.14 million listeners, making his show the biggest commercial breakfast show in London.

Was his sudden departure really just down to a realisation that he doesn't like getting up in the middle of the night? Some listeners have noticed a recent change of tone on the programme, with his language becoming increasingly risque.

However, currently both Vaughan and his now former employer are keeping schtum. But the news has set Twitter awash with rumours. One user joked:

Richard Park, Global's director of broadcasting, said: "Johnny has done a fantastic job over the years, particularly recently, building the programme with Lisa Snowdon, into London's most popular commercial radio breakfast show.

"Johnny is a skilled broadcaster on radio and television," added Park, "and we thank him for his time with 95.8 Capital FM, while wishing him every success for the future."