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Alistair has signed off his Letter.

VETERAN broadcaster Alistair Cooke is finally retiring after 58 years of his radio show Letter From America.

The 95-year-old was absent from last week's programme -the world's longest running radio speech programme -due to poor health.

The BBC said Cooke had decided to sign off after advice from doctors.

Cooke's weekly observations of American life began on Radio 4 in 1946.

But Letter From America, which also goes out on the World Service, was meant to last for only 13 weeks.

The broadcaster, who lives in New York and has missed only three broadcasts in around 3,000 programmes, thanked his listeners for their loyalty.

``I can no longer continue my Letter From America.

``Throughout 58 years I have had much enjoyment in doing these talks and hope that some of it has passed over to the listeners, to all of whom I now say thank you for your loyalty and goodbye.''

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Mar 3, 2004
Words:157
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