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BBC star steps down from presenting role after 30 years – details

The Scottish journalist will be leaving after the next election

Kirsty Wark at the Royal Academy Of Arts Summer Exhibition 2021
Megan Bull
TV Writer
20 October 2023
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Kirsty Wark is waving goodbye to Newsnight after 30 years, the BBC has confirmed. In a new statement shared by the broadcaster, the Scottish journalist announced that she'll be stepping down as the show's lead presenter after the next election. 

Kirsty Wark presenting © BBC
Kirsty Wark announced her exit from Newsnight after marking 30 years as the show's lead presenter

Addressing the decision, Kirsty said: "Today I am celebrating 30 years presenting Newsnight. It is an enormous privilege to be involved in such a rigorous, creative programme with a wonderful, talented, bunch of colleagues – actually many bunches over the years, led, most recently by Esme Wren followed by Stewart Maclean.

"There's not a day when I don't look forward to coming to the office, and every day I learn something from the team about all manner of things, from aspects of American foreign policy to how to make a great mojito." 

Kirsty Wark at a Net-a-Porter event© Getty
The TV star will continue to present The Reunion and Start the Week on Radio 4

Speaking about her departure, she continued: "Last year I spoke to both the Director General Tim Davie and to Stewart and signalled my desire to end my three decade run on the show after the next election, and that's the plan.

"When the time comes it will be a massive wrench. However, I'll be leaving Newsnight but not the BBC. I'll still be presenting The Reunion and Start the Week on Radio 4, TV documentaries too as well as finishing, finally, my third novel. There are exciting times ahead."

Responding to Kirsty's decision, BBC Director-General, Tim Davie has expressed his support for the presenter. 

Wishing her all the best, he said: "Generations of Newsnight viewers have benefitted from Kirsty's authority, her razor-sharp insight and her journalistic flair. She sets the standard for engaging yet authoritative presenting. I speak on behalf of the whole BBC when I thank her for the past 30 years.

Kirsty joined N© Getty
Kirsty joined Newsnight in 1993

"I'm delighted the BBC is not losing Kirsty altogether when she steps back from Newsnight and look forward to seeing and hearing her beyond the busy political year ahead."

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Revered as Newsnight's longest-serving presenter, Kirsty's exit will certainly be felt by viewers. Following the announcement of Kirsty's departure, the 68-year-old has been praised on X, formerly known as Twitter, by her colleagues and co-stars. 

View post on Twitter

"Absolute news goddess. And one of the nicest, most generous people I've ever worked with. @KirstyWark," tweeted Jeremy Vine. 

Meanwhile, Newsnight's Assistant Editor Liz Rawlings penned: "Celebrating 30 years at #Newsnight for @KirstyWark - she is the kindest colleague, a journalistic tour-de-force and always bursting with energy, ideas and wisdom. Really sad that she is leaving Newsnight after the election but what an innings." 

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