US chat show host David Letterman has announced that he will be retiring from his CBS Late Show next year.

He made the announcement during the taping of his show last night. EW reports that he said he had told the CBS president and CEO Les Moonves that he would not be renewing his contract when it expires next year.

The 66-year-old said “The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance.

"And I phoned him just before the program, and I said ‘Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring,’”

Letterman continued  “I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theater, all the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much.

"What this means now, is that Paul (Shaffer – the Late Show band leader) and I can be married. We don’t have the timetable for this precisely down – I think it will be at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future, 2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up.”

The audience gave Letterman a standing ovation after his announcement which quickly leaked out via Twitter.