Question Time: who will replace David Dimbleby?
Veteran presenter says now is ‘the right moment’ to step down after 25 years hosting show
David Dimbleby has announced he is stepping down as presenter of BBC show Question Time in order “to return to my first love - reporting”.
The 79-year-old, who has chaired the show since 1994, said he would leave at the end of the year and that it was “the right moment” to go.
Dimbleby began his broadcasting career more than 57 years ago and is the longest-serving presenter of the topical debate programme.
BBC director general Tony Hall called him “a titan in British broadcasting” and a “champion of the public”.
But who will replace Dimbleby in the hotseat?
A strong favourite with the bookies, Newsnight presenter Wark has “already voiced her desire to take on the role”, revealing in an interview last month that she would be up for the job if Dimbleby were to step down, ITV reports.
She told Good Housekeeping magazine: “I think there will be many people when David Dimbleby decides he doesn’t want to do it any longer.
“I think I will be one of them, but I’m sure lots of people will throw their hats in the ring for that.”
The 63-year-old has co-hosted BBC Two’s Newsnight since 1993 and began her television career in 1982.
Another Newsnight veteran, Paxman was famed for his aggressive interviewing tactics when tackling politicians on the current affairs programme, which he presented from 1989 to 2015.
The 68-year-old has also hosted the panel game show University Challenge since 1994, which makes him the longest-serving current quizmaster on British TV, The Sun reports.
His other presenting gigs include the Tonight programme, Panorama, the BBC News at Six and Breakfast Time, the newspaper adds.
Fellow Newsnight star Maitlis could also be in the running to replace Dimbleby, having fronted news programmes across the BBC as one of the corporation’s “go-to presenters to cover big stories”, says the ITV news site.
The 47-year-old has presented bulletins on BBC One, BBC News Channel and BBC World, and took on the job as a regular presenter on Newsnight in 2006.
She has previously spoken of her gentler interview style, and said she had made the decision not to ask questions which sounded “rude or aggressive” after Paxman left the show in 2014.
The Bafta-winning journalist and presenter, who also works for the BBC, is thought to be on the shortlist, according to the Daily Mail.
The 49-year-old “won plaudits for making video diaries of her treatment for breast cancer”, the newspaper adds.
Metro puts the odds of Scottish journalist Andrew Neil becoming the next Question Time host at 10/1.
The Daily Politics presenter is known for his extensive knowledge on a range of subjects and, like Paxman, often adopts an aggressive interview style to bully answers out of his interviewees.
Neil presents This Week, which follows directly after Question Time on BBC One on Thursdays.