Bruce ‘thrilled’ to be tak­ing the helm of Ques­tion Time

Western Mail - - NEWS -

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.

“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 longest­serv­ing pre­sen­ter of the show. He beat ri­val Jeremy Pax­man af­ter each had to en­dure a gru­elling au­di­tion for the role.

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.”

Bruce will con­tinue to present the main news bul­letins reg­u­larly and will still present An­tiques Road­show and Fake Or For­tune?.

> Fiona Bruce

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