David Dimbleby to step down from Question Time after 25 years, BBC announces

Veteran host has fronted political debate programme since 1994

Tom Barnes
Sunday 17 June 2018 20:41
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David Dimbleby has been a regular face on British television screens since the 1960s
David Dimbleby has been a regular face on British television screens since the 1960s

David Dimbleby is to leave the BBC programme Question Time after almost 25 years as its presenter.

The 79-year-old, who has fronted the broadcaster’s flagship political debate show since 1994, said he would step down at the end of the year, adding it was the “right moment to leave”.

Mr Dimbleby said he was not retiring from broadcasting but intended to return to his “first love” by focusing on reporting.

The veteran presenter been a regular face on public affairs programming since making his television debut in 1967.

He has anchored the BBC’s coverage of general elections and US presidential elections since 1979.

Speaking to the BBC, Dimbleby said his tenure as host of Question Time had been “exhilarating, following the twists and turns of British politics”.

“It has been a privilege to work for a programme which brings voters face to face with those in power,” he added.

BBC director general Tony Hall paid tribute to Dimbleby, describing him as a “titan in British broadcasting”.

“David has been at the helm of Question Time for over 25 years: a brilliant champion of the public and the audiences’ friend – getting the answers they want on the big and difficult issues of the day,” Mr Hall added.

“Always a commanding figure, David has ensured Question Time has not only stayed relevant through the years, but a must watch for those interested in politics and current affairs.”

Dimbleby has chaired dozens of memorable Question Time debates over the years, including a 2014 showdown between comedian Russell Brand and then-Ukip leader Nigel Farage, as well as the controversial appearance of BNP leader Nick Griffin in 2009.

During his career, he has also been the face of the BBC’s local and European election coverage for decades, while he also presented BBC analysis of Britain’s referendums on Europe in both 1975 and 2016.

He also serves as a commentator for various other events broadcast on the BBC, including the annual Remembrance Day service at the Cenotaph in central London.

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