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Chris Harrison breaks silence after Bachelor host exit: ‘I’m excited to start a new chapter’

Chris Harrison has spoken out about his exit from The Bachelor franchise (Picture: ABC News)

Chris Harrison has spoken out to confirm his permanent exit from The Bachelor franchise.

The longtime host had been part of Bachelor Nation for 20 years before he was forced to step away earlier this year.

Speaking to fans on Instagram, he wrote: ‘I’ve had a truly incredible run as host of The Bachelor franchise and now I’m excited to start a new chapter.

‘I’m so grateful to Bachelor Nation for all of the memories we’ve made together.’

He continued: ‘While my two-decade journey is wrapping up, the friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime.’

The host, 49, came under fire in February during an interview on Extra with former Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay – the first Black lead in the franchise.

During the interview, Chris chose to defend then-contestant Rachael Kirkconnell, over racially insensitive actions that had been unearthed from her past.

Due to his passionate defense, Chris angered viewers who felt he perpetuated racially insensitive beliefs as well as invalidating Rachel Lindsay’s suggestions.

THE BACHELOR - 2501 Matt James, the charismatic and engaging star of ABCs hit romance reality series The Bachelor, will hand out the roses for its momentous 25th season. After meeting Matt as a prospective suitor for The Bachelorette, Bachelor Nation swooned when they learned he would take on the role as the lead of his own love story. Matt is the total package with strong family values, a great career, and has used his growing platform for good. His emerging legion of fans cant wait to follow the 28-year-old real estate broker, entrepreneur and community organization founder on his journey to find love during this historic season. Although Matt hasnt been in love before, he feels he is ready now to welcome it into his lifeno matter what challenges he will faceas he starts his search for his happily ever after on the season premiere of The Bachelor, MONDAY, JAN. 4 (8:00-10:00 p.m. EST), on ABC. (Craig Sjodin via Getty Images) CHRIS HARRISON
The presenter famously hosted The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Bachelor In Paradise and The Bachelor presents: Listen To Your Heart (Picture: ABC via Getty Images)

Chris was quick to apologize at the time and chose to step back from his hosting duties.

On July 8 it was confirmed that his leave of absence would be permanent as a statement from Warner Horizon and ABC Entertainment read: ‘Chris Harrison is stepping aside as host of The Bachelor franchise.

‘We are thankful for his many contributions over the past 20 years and wish him all the best on his new journey.’

The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and Bachelor In Paradise airs on ABC, while it is available to stream on hayu in the UK.

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