[A]fter an extraordinary 25 years, David Dimbleby has decided to leave Question Time, the BBC’s flagship political debate programme.
Announcing his decision, David Dimbleby 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. 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.”
Paying tribute to his stewardship of the programme, Director General, Tony Hall said: “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. 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.
“David may be stepping down from Question Time, but he isn’t stepping down from broadcasting. He is a titan in British broadcasting. The BBC and the public are extraordinarily lucky to have him in what are – to say the least – interesting times politically and socially. We look forward to working with him on other projects in the future.”
BBC’s Director of Content, Charlotte Moore, said: “Under his tenure, David Dimbleby has made Question Time his own, ensuring that the nation’s most popular public political debate programme is at the very top of its game. He has led Question Time through times of momentous political change, allowing the audience to set the agenda and hold those in power to account. Thursday nights have become essential viewing for anyone who wants to be part of the current debate. I would like to thank David for his extraordinary 25 years at the helm. He will be with Question Time until the end of the year and I very much look forward to working with him on other programmes in the future.”
BBC’s Director of News, Fran Unsworth, said: “David Dimbleby is respected by guests and the audience alike. He’s been a commanding figure in the chair and has been at the forefront of the biggest debates over the last 25 years. He has our huge thanks for holding politicians to account and ensuring the voice of the nation is heard.”