Bill Oddie has left Springwatch - leaving the BBC short of a co-host for the next series which starts in May.

Oddie quit the BBC2 nature show after four years to take a “breather”, although he will continue to appear on other BBC2 natural history programmes.

The corporation now faces a hunt for a new co-presenter to appear alongside Kate Humble - with reporter Simon King and Countryfile host Ben Fogle tipped as the frontrunners.

Oddie told the Daily Mirror: “I'm really going to miss working with Kate, Simon and the team but after four amazing years of really intense work it feels like the right time to take a breather and recharge my batteries.”

The BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow, praised Oddie's "amazing ornithological knowldege and enthusiasm for the subject".

The May series will also include a tribute to Oddie's best moments.