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BBC announce new Newsnight and BBC Breakfast presenters

BBC News has revealed two new senior presenter roles.

Jon Kay
Jon Kay

The BBC has announced that Jon Kay will become the new regular presenter on BBC Breakfast from Monday to Wednesday, while Victoria Derbyshire will join Newsnight as joint lead presenter.

Kay replaces Dan Walker, who had hosted the morning show since 2016, while Derbyshire joins the Newsnight team following the departure of Emily Maitlis who had anchored the current affairs programme since 2006.

Hull-born Kay, 52, who starts his new role with immediate effect, said: “I’m over the moon to become the new regular presenter of BBC Breakfast and I’m looking forward to bringing our brilliant viewers the very latest news each morning alongside my good friend Sally (Nugent) and the rest of the team.

“Sitting on the famous red sofa is a real privilege while covering the stories and issues that matter to our audience – home and abroad.”

Kay started his career as a trainee reporter at the BBC working at local radio stations before becoming a senior correspondent and presenter on BBC News. During his 25-year career he has presented Panorama, Crimewatch and BBC Radio 5 Live and has been part of the BBC Breakfast team for more than eight years.

Following Walker’s exit from the BBC, he replaced Sian Williams presenting 5 News, after she announced she was stepping down in April.

Meanwhile Derbyshire, who joins Newsnight permanently in September, said: “I am so delighted to be joining the legend that is Kirsty Wark and the talented Newsnight team under new and ambitious leadership.

“This is a special opportunity to take on one of the best jobs in British journalism and help shape the programme’s future. I can’t wait to champion more stories about people’s lives while holding those who represent them to account.”

Derbyshire’s eponymous daily current affairs programme was axed by the BBC in January 2020 as part of a string of cuts at the broadcaster.

An online petition calling for the corporation to reverse its decision received more than 50,000 signatures that month.

Since then, Derbyshire has presented across various BBC News services.

Victoria Derbyshire
Victoria Derbyshire (BBC/PA)

The Newsnight permanent team now comprises Derbyshire and Kirsty Wark as lead presenters, with Faisal Islam continuing to present regularly.

Newsnight editor Stewart Maclean says: “Victoria is one of the most tenacious journalists in the business, with a fantastic ability to ask the straightforward questions our viewers want answered, and a shelf-full of major awards for her work. We’re delighted she’s joining us on Newsnight as a lead presenter alongside Kirsty.

“It’s an exciting time for Newsnight, and Victoria and Kirsty will be a formidable partnership at the heart of our presenter line-up.”

Jonathan Munro, Interim Director of BBC News, said: “It’s fantastic to be appointing two such talented presenters to start and finish the day on two of our most important news programmes.

“Jon’s a hugely experienced journalist who’s established himself as a favourite with BBC Breakfast viewers, and Victoria’s a formidable interviewer with an amazing connection to her audiences. Congratulations to both of them.”

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