Colin Briggs is used to waking up strangers in the morning.

Thousands of them - over a wide area.

The BBC Look North news presenter has done it for 20 years but yesterday said his final goodbye.

The 67- year-old has called time on his TV career and is looking forward to a retirement down south - and to staying in bed a little longer in the mornings.

Speaking before his final broadcast, he admitted he was "terrified", adding: "I have really mixed emotions.

"This has been a big chunk of my life. It is knowing when is the bet time to leave the party.

"I have talked long and hard with the wife about it and part of me thinks it would be brilliant to go on, but my wife Susie has been retired for a few years and sees me as that bloke in the corner asleep."

Six years ago, Colin revealed he had incurable cancer.

After a biopsy on a lump in his neck, doctors told him he had follicular lymphoma – or cancer of the lymph nodes.

He underwent numerous bouts of radiotherapy and a recent check-up gave him the all-clear.

He said: "My health is the past 10 years has been kind of interesting. As well as the lymphoma, I had some cardiac work done five years ago and last summer I had some surgery on my sinuses.

"I have seen far too many people say 'I will just do another year' and I don't want to fall into that category."

Colin, who is originally from Southampton, is moving back to the city on the coast with Sue, but says he will return regularly to the north-east.

He started his career in journalism in 1974 when he turned down a job offer from the NatWest bank to work for much less money as a sub-editor for She magazine.

From there he worked as chief press officer for the motoring group the AA, before joining local radio in Wales where he worked as a DJ and in the newsroom.

He moved up to Newcastle 30 years ago as sports editor for BBC Radio Newcastle.

For the past 20 years he has been getting up every morning at 3.50am to present the first TV bulletin at 6.25.

He said: "I have got to the point now where I can sleep at a minute's notice.

"One of the nicest things about summer afternoons is being able to go to bed for a snooze with a breeze coming through the windows and hearing the birds singing."

Colin enjoys writing and plans to write a crime thriller.

He he will miss working with his newsroom team but added: "I have suffered the tyranny of the alarm clock since I was 13 and had to get up at 6am as a newspaper delivery boy.

"I'm looking forward to not being ruled by that."