Fiona Bruce has been confirmed as the new presenter of Question Time – saying she is “thrilled and not a little daunted”.
The news presenter and Antiques Roadshow host, 54, will take up her role on the BBC One show when the new series returns on January 10 next year.
She landed the job, replacing veteran presenter David Dimbleby, after candidates hosted a pilot episode of the political programme, with panellists and a live audience.
The BBC News At Six and News At Ten host said: “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.
— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) December 7, 2018
“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 will become the first female presenter of the BBC One current affairs panel show, which is a TV institution.
Dimbleby announced in June that he would be leaving the role in December, after 25 years in the presenter’s chair.
Names tipped among his possible successors had included Kirsty Wark, Emily Maitlis, Victoria Derbyshire, Nick Robinson, Jeremy Paxman, John Humphrys and Huw Edwards.
Dimbleby first presented Question Time on January 14 1994 and is the longest serving presenter of the show.
He beat rival Jeremy Paxman after each had to endure a gruelling audition for the role.
The debate programme was previously hosted by Peter Sissons and its first host Sir Robin Day.
Director of BBC News and Current Affairs 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.”
Director of BBC Content Charlotte Moore said: “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.”
Bruce, who used to present Crimewatch, will continue to present the main news bulletins regularly and will still present Antiques Roadshow and Fake Or Fortune?.