The host and creator of the live variety radio programme will step away from the popular series in July, 2016 after more than 40 years on air.

Keillor takes the show on tour across the U.S. each summer and this year's (15) 30-date trek has been billed as his farewell tour.

The 72 year old tells the Associated Press, "I have a lot of other things that I want to do. I mean, nobody retires anymore. Writers never retire. But this is my last season. This tour this summer is the farewell tour."

Keillor will be replaced by folk musician Chris Thile, who plays with the bands Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, in September, 2016 after a series of guest hosts.

Keillor will stay on as executive producer and is working on another movie inspired by the show. The first, which uses the same name, was released in 2006 and starred Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan and Woody Harrelson.