Samira Ahmed applies for BBC Question Time job with a tweet

Anita Singh
Samira Ahmed said she was eminently qualified to take on the Question Time job  - Martin Pope

Samira Ahmed has thrown her hat into the ring for the role of Question Time host, publicly inviting the BBC to put her on the shortlist.

In a novel way to apply for a job, the veteran journalist and presenter of Radio 4’s Front Row programme staked her claim via Twitter.

Shortly afterwards, she followed up with a tweet saying a BBC manager had told her she would be considered.

Ahmed was deluged with support, with Jess Phillips, the Labour MP, responding: “Brave for daring to say you’d be good enough. It’s utterly liberating to see,” and Sue Perkins, the television presenter, saying: “Yes! You’d be an excellent choice.”

Ahmed, 50, certainly has the credentials to present a current affairs show. After leaving Channel 4 News she has worked as a freelance journalist and presenter, reporting for the BBC on general elections and presenting Radio 4’s The World Tonight, PM and Woman’s Hour.

David Dimbleby announced this week that he is to step down from Question Time after 25 years, triggering a race to secure the coveted job.

BBC presenter jobs are rarely advertised, prompting Ahmed to make her public declaration in the hope of bringing some transparency to the process.

Question Time is made by an independent production company but the high profile nature of the programme means the appointment of a new presenter will be signed off by Lord Hall, the director-general.

The corporation is under pressure to appoint a woman, following a slew of negative headlines about its gender pay gap.

Kirsty Wark has already registered her interest, saying in a recent interview: “I think there will be many people [applying] when David Dimbleby decides he doesn’t want to do it any longer. I think I will be one of them.”

Emily Maitlis, Mishal Husain, Victoria Derbyshire and Kirsty Young are also in the frame. Eddie Mair and Huw Edwards are contenders but their high salaries - Mair on £300,000-350,000 and Edwards on £550,000-599,999, although Edwards has accepted a pay cut and Mair is said to be discussing one - were the cause of many raised eyebrows when BBC pay was disclosed last year.