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September 20, 2018updated 21 Sep 2018 12:05pm

Evan Davis to leave Newsnight and replace Eddie Mair as presenter of BBC Radio 4’s PM

By Charlotte Tobitt

Evan Davis is set to leave Newsnight by the end of October after being appointed presenter of BBC Radio 4 current affairs programme PM.

Davis, who has been the lead presenter on Newsnight since 2014, will replace Eddie Mair, who left PM last month to host a new drivetime show on commercial radio station LBC.

Davis, a former BBC economics editor, has also previously presented BBC Radio 4’s Today programme for six years.

He said: “Having survived several years of people saying ‘you’re not as good as Jeremy Paxman’, I now look forward to people saying ‘you’re not as good as Eddie Mair’.

“I would have loved to stay longer at Newsnight and will miss the team who’ve been fantastic, but PM is presenter heaven and jobs like this don’t come along very often, and you have to grab them when you can.”

He added on Twitter: “I have to say, that I will genuinely miss the daytime office conversations with the BBC Newsnight team.

“Audiences perhaps don’t realise how much the output depends on the vitality and intelligence of some underpaid staff.”

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Davis confirmed on Twitter that he is moving to PM at the end of October.

Until then PM will continue to be presented by different journalists, as has taken place since Mair’s departure at the start of August.

The BBC said it would say more about Newsnight’s future staffing “in due course”.

Davis is currently the show’s lead presenter alongside presenters Emily Maitlis and Kirsty Wark.

Both women have been touted as possible replacements for David Dimbleby, who announced in June he was stepping down from hosting Question Time.

Gwyneth Williams, controller of Radio 4, said: “PM has a special place in the lives of Radio 4 listeners and each week millions tune in to its unique blend of news and current affairs.

“I am sure that this discriminating audience will be delighted that Evan will be bringing his experience, intelligence and wit back to Radio 4’s daily news programmes as he takes the helm at PM.

“Personally I very much welcome his returning voice as, day by day, Radio 4 tries to reflect a fast-changing world for our listeners.”

Fran Unsworth, BBC director of news and current affairs, added: “Evan is a brilliant journalist whose warmth and individuality make him the ideal presenter for PM.”

Mair presented PM for 20 years until his final show on 8 August, which he ended “no fuss or faff”.

He spent 30 years in total at the BBC on programmes including Broadcasting House on Radio 4, The World on BBC World Service and Midday with Mair on BBC Radio 5 Live upon its launch in 1994.

Picture: BBC

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