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'Not goodbye, but goodnight' as David Dimbleby signs off after 25 years hosting Question Time with nod to staff

David Dimbleby has broadcast his last Question Time as host after 25 years in the role, thanking the BBC show’s staff on his final programme last night for a “truly team effort” before he goes “in search of new pastures”.

Dimbleby received a standing ovation from the audience and panel as he brought the show to a close in Southwark, south London, by saying: “This programme marks the end of my tenure of the chair.”

Fiona Bruce was announced as the show’s first female host last week, replacing Dimbleby, whom she described as one of her “television heroes”.

After a huge round of applause, Dimbleby said: “After a quarter of a century I’m off to new pastures, or at least in search of new pastures, but I didn’t want to end without saying something about this programme which is, of all the programmes I ever worked in for the BBC, a truly team effort.”

He thanked the editors, producers, researchers, directors and technical back-up who “have made it possible over these past 25 years” with a special mention to the show’s “engine room who have been here right through”.

“[They] find the places we go to and select our audiences, which as we know with the political pressures on us is not very easy.”

Dimbleby also thanked the more than 100,000 audience members who have joined the show over the past 25 years “and who have exercised what I think is a really important democratic right to put questions to the panel and to argue with each other”.

He ended by reminding viewers to tune in for the return of Question Time under new host Bruce on 10 January, adding: “I hope you’ll join her then. From me a happy Christmas and not goodbye but goodnight.”

Dimbleby’s final Question Time panel featured former Brexit secretary David Davis, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, former education secretary Nicky Morgan, the Green Party’s only MP Caroline Lucas, and comedian Jo Brand.

Dimbleby announced he planned to step down from the show in June, saying he wanted to return to his reporting – his “first love” – although his next project has not yet been revealed.

Bruce will continue to regularly present the BBC’s evening news bulletins and shows Fake Or Fortune? and the Antiques Roadshow once she takes on the Question Time chair.

She said last week: “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.”

Journalists and politicians also took to Twitter to share their praise for Dimbleby…

 

 

 

 

 

Picture: BBC

Comments

4 thoughts on “'Not goodbye, but goodnight' as David Dimbleby signs off after 25 years hosting Question Time with nod to staff”

  1. Mr Dimbleby has done a marvelous job in supporting the ‘aims’ of the BBC. Given his service to the state I’m sure he will be rewarded handsomely. It’s certain his successor won’t deviate from the script.

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