Kirsty Wark tipped to take over from David Dimbleby on Question Time

Kirsty Wark has emerged as favourite to present BBC's Question Time after David Dimbleby announced he will stand down from the role at the end of the year.
Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark. Picture: Robert PerryNewsnight presenter Kirsty Wark. Picture: Robert Perry
Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark. Picture: Robert Perry

Dimbleby, 79, is leaving Question Time after 25 years presenting the flagship BBC show.

Broadcaster Jeremy Vine has issued a warning to whoever takes over David Dimbleby’s Question Time role, saying they could get “universally savaged”.

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Wark is joined by fellow Scots Nicky Campbell, Andrew Marr and Eddie Mair among those tipped as possible successors, along with Emily Maitlis, Victoria Derbyshire, Nick Robinson, Jeremy Paxman and John Humphrys.

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Vine, appearing to rule himself out of the role, writing on Twitter: “David Dimbleby is truly great and I love working with him.

“The next person to do Question Time might like to remember that alternate presenters get universally savaged.

“Ask Sir Robin Day’s successor, Peter Sissons.

“By the end there was nothing left of him but his teeth,” said Vine, who is taking over from Matthew Wright on Channel 5’s current affairs daily show.

Question Time was previously hosted by Robin Day, from 1979 to 1989, and then Sissons until 1993.

Announcing his departure, Dimbleby said he would be returning to his first love - reporting.

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He said: “At the end of the year I will have been chairing Question Time for a quarter of a century and I have decided that this is the right moment to leave.

“It has been a privilege to work for a programme which brings voters face to face with those in power. I am grateful to the production teams and to the BBC who have made this possible.

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“It has been exhilarating following the twists and turns of British politics from John Major in 1994, through the Blair and Brown years to Cameron and May. I am not giving up broadcasting.

“Instead, after years in the studio, I now plan to return to my first love: reporting.”

Dimbleby first hosted Question Time in January 1994 and is the longest-serving presenter of the show.

His final Question Time will be on 13 December this year.

Wark, who has fronted Newsnight for a quarter of a century, is 6/4 to facilitate debate on the Question Time panel, with newsreader Emily Maitlis and 5Live’s Nicky Campbell her nearest challengers for the job at 10/1.

Piers Morgan and Jeremy Paxman come further down the list at 33/1, while Nigel Farage and Robert Peston can be backed at odds of 50/1.

Dimbleby is 8/1 to cap off a landmark year by taking part in Strictly Come Dancing and 50/1 to enter the I’m A Celebrity jungle.