Fiona Bruce has been confirmed as the new host of BBC Question Time.
The newsreader replaces David Dimbley who stands down this month after 25 years presenting the BBC One show to return to his “first love”: reporting.
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Bruce said she “can’t wait to get started” in her new role, which she begins on 10 January next year when the series returns after Christmas.
She will continue to regularly present the BBC’s evening news bulletins regularly and shows Fake Or Fortune? and the Antiques Roadshow.
Said Bruce: “It is an honour to be asked to take on one of the great political programmes of the BBC – particularly at a time of such historic change for the UK and tumult at Westminster.
“For many years Question Time has been presented by one of my television heroes, so I am thrilled and not a little daunted to be stepping into his shoes.
“But it is a programme I have watched for as long as I can remember and have long wanted to be part of. I can’t wait to get started.”
Bruce was tipped last month to be in talks over the role after impressing in auditions. Candidates each hosted a pilot episode of the programme, including panellists and a live audience, in competing for the job.
Bruce has been a regular presenter of the BBC News bulletins at 6pm and 10pm since 1999 and has reported and presented news and current affairs at the corporation for 25 years.
She has presented Antiques Roadshow for 11 years and has hosted arts forgery programme Fake Or Fortune? since 2000.
BBC News director Fran Unsworth said: “Question Time is one of our flagship political programmes, giving people across Britain the chance to hold the powerful to account. David Dimbleby has done an extraordinary job as chair over the last 25 years.
“David is a tough act to follow, but Fiona impressed us all – with her authority, warmth, and ability to connect with the audience and champion their concerns. We’re delighted to have her at the helm.”
Charlotte Moore, director of BBC Content, added: “The role of Question Time host has a unique place in British political life, bringing together the public and politicians every week in front of millions of viewers on BBC One.
“David has been a wonderful host for many years. Fiona’s huge experience and long-established relationship with audiences make her the ideal person to follow in his footsteps.”