Film publicity legend Charles McDonald plans to step down as joint CEO of London-headquartered Premier PR at the end of October.

He will leave Premier and handle a number of his own key clients independently, likely his most active Premier clientssuch as BBC Films, Optimum Releasing, European Film Awards and Europa Cinemas.

McDonald will continue to collaborate with Premier on projects that require joint services, such as major festival work.

'I will be sad to leave PPR but this is a fresh challenge and a great opportunity for me to concentrate my energies on a number of projects. Premier is in great shape and ready to move forward, and I look forward to maintaining a close working relationship with them in the future,' McDonald said in a statement.

John Reiss, chairman of Premier PR, added: 'I would like to thank Charles for his major contribution in building Premier PR into its position as the leading entertainment agency in the UK. We wish him well in the next chapter in his career and look forward to enjoying a continued association.'

Jonathan Rutter remains as CEO of Premier PR with Reiss as chairman.

McDonald became one of the heads of Premier in March 2006 when the company acquired agency McDonald & Rutter, which Charles McDonald and Jonathan Rutter set up in 1994. That firm worked with auteurs such as David Lynch, Mike Leigh and Pedro Almodovar and on campaigns for films including The Constant Gardener, Lost In Translation, The Hours and Billy Elliot.

Premier is based in London and Los Angeles and works in film, TV, theatre, home entertainment, brands, special events and product placement.

This news follows the January 2007 announcement that Sara Keene stepped down as one of the chief executives of Premier to take on a role as non-executive director.