Press gallery doyen Laurie Oakes has announced his retirement, at 73, from the Nine Network after almost 50 years reporting on federal politics. The legendary correspondent will finish up on August 18, telling Nine he'll find it hard to give it up, but he is looking forward to spending more time reading crime thrillers.

Oakes is famous for his scoops -- he received the 1980 budget days before it was released, he revealed Labor's plan to accept a cash donation from Iraq's socialist party in 1976, and he released the details of a leadership pact made between Paul Keating and Bob Hawke in 1988.