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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Question Time presenter David Dimbleby says farewell after 25 years 

Dimbleby received a standing ovation from audience and guests after his final appearance on the programme

David Dimbleby appears on the set for Question Time ahead of his final show
David Dimbleby appears on the set for Question Time ahead of his final show

Question Time host David Dimbleby bowed out on Thursday night after 25 years presenting the current affairs programme, saying: "Thank you all, our audiences, both at home and in the studios, very much [...] From me, a Happy Christmas, and not goodbye but goodnight." The 80-year-old received a standing ovation from both the audience and the guests.

Following a show, in which the panellists, including former Brexit Secretary David Davis, Green MP Caroline Lucas and comedian Jo Brand, had discussed Brexit, Dimbleby said: "This programme marks the end of my tenure as the chair [...] After a quarter of a century I’m off to new pastures, or at least in search of new pastures, but I didn’t want to end without saying something about this programme.

“It is, of all the programmes I’ve ever work on for the BBC, a truly team effort and I did want to end by thanking the people who have made it possible over the past 25 years.

"Above all I wanted to thank you here tonight – this audience. You’re joining over 100,000 people over the past 25 years who have been in the Question Time audience and who’ve exercised what I think is a really important democratic right: putting questions to the panel and [arguing] with each other as you have been tonight.”

Dimbleby, who was preceded by Peter Sissons, first presented Question Time on January 13 1994. Fiona Bruce will take the helm when the programme returns in January next year.

Ahead of his final Question Time appearance, Dimbleby said: "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."

Tributes continue to pour in for Dimbleby on social media.

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Updated: December 14, 2018 12:11 PM

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