A SUFFOLK radio station today declined to say if the departure of an award-winning presenter and the loss of a live transmission were connected.

Mystery still surrounds the reason for the sudden departure of BBC Radio Suffolk's highly-rated Nick Pandolfi, after the Beeb's press office said it did not discuss individual staff matters.

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A SUFFOLK radio station today declined to say if the departure of an award-winning presenter and the loss of a live transmission were connected.

Mystery still surrounds the reason for the sudden departure of BBC Radio Suffolk's highly-rated Nick Pandolfi, after the Beeb's press office said it did not discuss individual staff matters.

Mr Pandolfi left BBC Radio Suffolk last month, sometime after a live outside broadcast from the Port of Felixstowe on award-winner Mark Murphy's flagship breakfast show was interrupted for several seconds, leaving the listeners with silence.

Award-winning Mr Pandolfi's tenure at the station ended last month after a meeting with BBC eastern region boss Tim Bishop.

At the time the broadcaster said he was "taking a break" and had left on good terms. He reiterated those claims this week, citing poor health as one of the reasons for his departure.

Via a statement through the BBC press office, the 38-year-old former actor said: "I've left BBC Radio Suffolk as I've said on very amicable terms.

"I'm looking forward to new challenges and I don't really want to say anything else. I have, as I said, been unwell but am now on the road to recovering.

"I'm looking forward to whatever comes next and I very much hope I will be working with the BBC again in the future."

Although the presenter confirmed he had already left BBC Radio Suffolk, a BBC spokesman said Mr Pandolfi, who lives in Felixstowe, was on holiday and did not wish to be disturbed.

The spokesman declined to comment further, saying: "The BBC doesn't discuss individual staff matters and so have nothing further to add."

The broadcaster did, however, confirm that there had been a problem with a live feed earlier in the month, but declined to comment further on the reasons.

The BBC spokesman added: “I can confirm that we did have a drop out of the feed from an outside broadcast we were doing from Felixstowe. However, as live feeds can - and do - drop out for any number of reasons, the studio producer was prepared and so listeners would have had only a few seconds of silence.”

The departure of Mr Pandofi came as a shock to fellow presenters at Radio Suffolk. His leaving came at a time of change for the station, based in St Matthews Street.

A new managing editor, Peter Cook, arrived to take up his post this month after the departure of former boss Gerald Main.

Mr Main, who has moved to neighbouring station BBC Radio Essex, said at the time of Mr Pandolfi's Frank Gillard award in 2004: "He's a huge talent.”

“Nick's creative, he connects with audiences... and most important of all he makes me laugh!".

Do you have a message for Mr Pandolfi? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

NICK Pandolfi, nicknamed Panda, returned to the BBC three years ago and was BBC Local Radio Presenter of the Year in 2004

Mr Pandolfi triumphed over BBC London's Vanessa Feltz in the Programme Presenter category, with his weekend morning show.

At the time Gerald Main, managing editor of BBC Radio Suffolk, said after the Frank Gillard awards which were held in Birmingham: “He's a huge talent.”

Mr Pandolfi also won bronze in the same category in 2006.

Born in Woodbridge, the presenter started his working life as an actor, appearing in Grange Hill, Gandhi and The Bill.

Mr Pandolfi moved into broadcasting and first worked for Radio Suffolk in the mid-1990s before joining commercial radio as a breakfast presenter.

He returned just over three years ago.

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