Entertainer Rove McManus has announced he is walking away from the variety television show he has hosted for the past decade.

"I realise this is very short notice," Rove last night told his Australian audience, which was stunned into silence.

"I didn't want a lot of fuss... Also, I think tonight is the perfect night for it. All our cast is here to wrap this baby up."

He and Network Ten later released a statement confirming last night's show, the final for the season, would be his last.

The show screens on the following Friday in New Zealand.

Rove delivered a neat variation on his slightly hokey closing line, 'Say hi to your mum for me', as wife Tasma Walton looked on tearily.

"For the last time, thank you very much for allowing me into your home - not in a creepy way, I haven't been sneaking in and perving on you when you're asleep - but through the power of television, I say thank you very much," he said.

"I'm Rove McManus. Say bye to your mum for me." McManus told his audience his future as a television host was uncertain.

"I'd like to think we will see each other again at some point in the future, but until then, from the bottom of my heart and a tear in my eye, I say thank you, thank you, thank you," he said.

At the top of the show, McManus said he had joked before about leaving but meant business tonight.

"It is very short notice, I do realise that. But it's only a decision that I came up with very recently," he said.

"And to be honest I didn't want a whole lot of fuss going into tonight as I don't going out the other end as well.

"I also think tonight's the perfect night for it and we've got the best setting possible.

"All our cast is here tonight to help wrap this baby up, you guys are at home. Will you help send me off tonight?"

The crowd erupted into cheers and applause.

McManus and Network Ten released a statement confirming the end of the show as it went to air.

"It was a difficult call to make but after 10 years it felt like time to step away from the show and take a break to properly reflect on what I want to do next as a performer," McManus said.

McManus has hosted the hour-long variety show for 10 years - first at the Nine Network and then, from 2000, on Ten - and through personal triumph and tragedy.

He won gold Logie awards as Australia's most popular television personality in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

McManus endured the death of his first wife, actress Belinda Emmett, in 2006, in the glare of the public spotlight.

He married Walton before only close friends and family in a private beach ceremony in Western Australia in June this year.

In the statement, McManus said the decision to end the show "came off the back of discussions" with Ten in the past couple of weeks.

He said The 7pm Project, a news-based chat show, and AFL talk show Before The Game, both produced by his production company Roving Enterprises for Ten, would remain on the network in 2010.

But no mention was made of his quiz show, Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader.

Ten programming boss David Mott said McManus would remain a part of the network.

"The end of Rove on Ten does not mark the end of Rove and Ten: a relationship that spans a decade is harder than this to switch off," he said.




- AAP