Stephen Fry steps down as host of QI

Stephen Fry has decided to step down as the host of the BBC Two comedy quiz show QI after 13 years. The 58-year-old presenter described the role as "one of the best jobs on television" but said he felt that "it was time to move on".

Stephen, who has hosted 180 episodes of the show – will be replaced by Sandi Toksvig, who described the hosting role as her "dream job". Alan Davies will continue to appear as the resident panellist.

Stephen Fry has decided to step down as the host of QI after 13 years

In a statement, Stephen said: "For 13 years I had one of the best jobs on television. Behind the camera, squadrons of quite extraordinarily brilliant researchers, programme makers and uniquely curious (in both senses of the word) people making that job so much easier.

“In front of the camera, generations of lively minds and above all of course the wonder of nature that is Alan Davies. After passing the alphabet halfway mark I thought it time to move on, but I will never cease to be grateful to John Lloyd for devising QI and for everyone else for making it so much fun."

The show's creator John Lloyd described Stephen's departure as the "end of an era". "It's been a thoroughly delightful experience," he added. "After more than 40 years in broadcasting, QI has been by far the most enjoyable show it has been my privilege to produce, and Stephen has been its big, beating heart.

"Though we are all very sad he's decided to move on, I am confident that we have found the perfect person to occupy his gigantic shoes. Sandi will be the first female host of a mainstream comedy panel show on British television – an appointment that is well overdue."

Stephen only ever stepped in to host the pilot of QI in 2003 as a last-minute replacement for Michael Palin, but instantly made the job his own. His last series hosting the show will begin in BBC Two on 16 October.