In a news story published in the paper it was stated that Spencer, who is 59, had taken early retirement, and he is quoted saying, "I have loved my job, but critics shouldn’t go on too long. I feel I’ve had my say and it’s time to stop and put my feet up." Spencer, who was named Critic of the Year in the 1999 British Press Awards, has also written for the Evening Standard and The Stage.
Sarah Crompton, arts editor-in-chief, commented, "Charles Spencer’s honesty – both about the play in front of him and his own life – and the way he speaks so directly to his readers have made him the critic people turn to when they want to know what a play is really like. He has always said exactly what he thinks, and that is why people have come to trust him so much. We will all miss reading his reviews."
The paper also stated that their "extensive theatre coverage will continue with a team of reviewers led by Dominic Cavendish, Spencer's deputy since 2000."