Fiona Bruce said she ‘couldn’t wait to get started’ as she was announced as the new presenter for BBC One’s Question Time.
The appointment will make her the first female presenter of the show in 40 years with current host David Dimbleby expected to leave at the end of the year.
Fiona, 54, has been a regular presenter of the BBC News at Six and News at Ten since 1999, and has reported on and presented news and current affairs at the BBC for twenty-five years.
She has also presented Antiques Roadshow on BBC One for eleven years, as well as hosting the successful arts series Fake or Fortune? since 2000.
Fiona 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.”
Fiona will replace veteran Question Time presenter David Dimbleby
Bruce, 54, auditioned for the position behind closed doors in October and is believed to have impressed BBC bosses.
She moderated a panel of MPs including Tory Johnny Mercer and Labour’s Nick Thomas-Symonds.
Fellow broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire, 50, also auditioned.
Fiona auditioned for the coveted role in October
Fran Unsworth, Director of BBC News and Current Affairs, said of the news: “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 twenty-five 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.”
While Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content, 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.”
Fiona will take up her role on Question Time when the new series returns on 10 January 2019.
The selection process for the role included candidates each hosting a pilot episode of the programme, including panellists and a live audience.
Fiona will continue to present the main news bulletins regularly and will still present Antiques Roadshow and Fake or Fortune?