'Question Time' viewers get emotional as David Dimbleby given standing ovation on final show

Ben Arnold
David Dimbleby (Credit: BBC)

Question Time host David Dimbleby received a standing ovation from both the panel and the audience last night, as he presented the’s BBC’s veteran political show for the last time.

In an emotional speech, Dimbleby, who has hosted the programme for 25 years, said that he was ‘off… in search of new pastures’.

“This programme marks the end of my tenure of the chair,” he added.

“But I didn’t want to end without saying something about this programme which is, of all the programmes I have ever worked in for the BBC, a truly team effort and I did want to end by thanking the people who have made it possible over the last 25 years.

“I did want to end by thanking the people who made it possible over these last 25 years; the editors, the producers, the researchers, the directors, our technical back-up, and a special thank you to our engine room who have been here right through.

“But above all, I wanted to thank you here tonight, this audience and you’re joining over 100,000 people over the last 25 years who have been in the Question Time audience and you have exercised this, what I think is a really important democratic right, which is to put questions and to argue with each other as you have tonight.”

For many, it was a little too much to take.

Fiona Bruce will take over from Dimbleby in January.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

She went on to say that she ‘can’t wait to get started’.

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