Barbara Budd, the long time co-host of CBC Radio One's "As It Happens," is leaving the CBC next month after more than 26 years with the public broadcaster.

Budd's last broadcast will be Friday, April 30. She has been co-host of the current affairs radio program for 17 years.

"You may not necessarily be able to own the podium, but I gotta tell you, from the bottom of my heart, it sure is thrilling to be given the use of one for 17 years," Budd told her listeners on the show.

Before she became host of As it Happens in 1993, Budd was already familiar to audiences through her work as a broadcaster and stage actress, including leading roles in five seasons with The Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

During her tenure with As it Happens, she has also performed with major symphony orchestras in Canada as host and narrator, and has narrated many television documentaries for PBS,CBC,CTV,Discovery and History Channel.

Budd has also contributed her voice to many animated shows such as Dinosaucers, Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends, Pippi Longstocking and more.

Her broadcasting career began at the age of seven when she became a regular performer on The Children's Hour, a Saturday morning live radio broadcast from CKTB in her home town St. Catharines, Ontario. At age 16, she was hired to write a bi-weekly newspaper column for The St. Catharines Standard.

Said CBC Radio's general manager Denise Donlon, "Barbara has made a significant contribution to a legendary CBC program and along with thanks, we offer her our very best wishes as she embarks on her next great adventures."

The public broadcaster said a formal search for a new co-host is expected to begin shortly.

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