Evan Davis quits Newsnight for new job on Radio 4’s PM

‘I now look forward to people saying “You’re not as good as Eddie Mair”‘: Evan Davis quits Newsnight for new job on Radio 4’s PM

  • Evan Davis quits BBC’s Newsnight and will replace Eddie Mair on Radio 4’s PM 
  • The top presenter for Newsnight since 2014, he will begin new role in the autumn
  • He joked he was looking forward to hearing ‘you’re not as good as Eddie Mair’
  • Davis, 56, previously presented Radio 4’s Today programme for six years prior 

Presenter Evan Davis has quit BBC’s flagship show Newsnight and will replace Eddie Mair on Radio 4’s PM programme. 

Davis, who has been the lead presenter for Newsnight since 2014, will take up his new role on the station’s evening programme later this autumn, the BBC said.

He said in a statement: ‘Having survived several years of people saying “you’re not as good as Jeremy Paxman”, I now look forward to people saying “you’re not as good as Eddie Mair”.

There will now be speculation which of his current Newsnight co-presenters Kirsty Wark and Emily Maitlis will get the more senior role.

Both are in the running to replace Jonathan Dimbleby as the host of Question Time and whoever misses out on that may become more prominent on Newsnight.

Davis, who has been the lead presenter for Newsnight since 2014, will take up his new role on the station’s evening programme later this autumn, the BBC said

‘I would have loved to stay longer at Newsnight and will miss the team who’ve been fantastic, but PM is presenter heaven and jobs like this don’t come along very often, and you have to grab them when you can.’

In a tweet, Davis added: ‘I have to say, that I will genuinely miss the daytime office conversations with the @BBCNewsnight team.


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‘Audiences perhaps don’t realise how much the output depends on the vitality and intelligence of some underpaid staff.’

Davis, 56, previously presented Radio 4’s Today programme for six years before taking over as the main presenter on BBC Two’s Newsnight from long-running host Paxman.

Davis announced his transfer from BBC’s Newsnight to the Radio 4 show in a good-natured tweet

He paid tribute to the evening current affairs show’s staff as he said his farewells

He also presents business reality series Dragon’s Den and is a former BBC economics editor.

Gwyneth Williams, controller of Radio 4, said: ‘PM has a special place in the lives of Radio 4 listeners and each week millions tune in to its unique blend of news and current affairs.

‘I am sure that this discriminating audience will be delighted that Evan will be bringing his experience, intelligence and wit back to Radio 4’s daily news programmes as he takes the helm at PM.

‘Personally I very much welcome his returning voice as, day by day, Radio 4 tries to reflect a fast-changing world for our listeners.’

He said in a statement: ‘Having survived several years of people saying “you’re not as good as Jeremy Paxman”, I now look forward to people saying “you’re not as good as Eddie Mair” (Mair pictured in his new surrounding at LBC)

Fran Unsworth, BBC director of news and current affairs, said: ‘Evan is a brilliant journalist whose warmth and individuality make him the ideal presenter for PM.’

PM will continue to be presented by a range of journalists before Davis takes over as host, the BBC said.

Mair, who hosted PM for 20 years, left the BBC in August to join LBC.

A BBC spokeswoman said the corporation would make announcements about Newsnight and Question Time roles ‘in due course’.

 

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