Question Time host David Dimbleby to retire from the programme at the end of 2018.
After 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.”
David Dimbleby – Quick Facts
> David Dimbleby is the longest serving presenter of Question Time
> His first broadcast was on 13 January 1994
> His final broadcast will be on 13 December 2018
> He was preceded by Peter Sissons (1989-1993) and Robin Day (1979-1989)
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.”
About David Dimbleby
David Dimbleby is a presenter of current affairs programmes and documentaries, including BBC One’s Question Time which he has chaired since 1994. He started broadcasting for the BBC over 57 years ago as a news reporter in Bristol after leaving Oxford University where he studied politics, philosophy and economics.
During his BBC career he has presented political programmes such as Panorama and chaired many debates including the Party Leaders’ debates in the run up to General Elections since 2010. He has made documentary series in South Africa and the USA and films in India, the USA and Europe as well as a number of historical and cultural series for BBC TV.
He has been the BBC’s anchorman for all General Elections since 1979, as well as for the Budget and Local, European and American Elections and in 1975 he presented the BBC’s coverage of the first referendum in Europe, a role he repeated in 2016 for the BBC’s coverage of the EU Referendum.
He has been the BBC’s commentator for many state occasions and a wide range of special outside broadcast events and he continues to commentate for the annual Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph.
He is President of the Board of Trustees for Dimbleby Cancer Care and Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne.