KIRSY WARK TO STEP DOWN FROM BBC NEWSNIGHT
Kirsty Wark will step down as a lead presenter at Newsnight, the BBC's flagship nightly current affairs show, after the next election. She has presented the programme for exactly 30 years today.
Kirsty will continue to present for the BBC on programmes including The Reunion, Start the Week on Radio 4, as well as documentaries.
Kirsty Wark says: "Today I am celebrating 30 years presenting Newsnight. It is an enormous privilege to be involved in such a rigorous, creative programme with a wonderful, talented, bunch of colleagues – actually many bunches over the years, led, most recently by Esme Wren followed by Stewart Maclean.
"There’s not a day when I don’t look forward to coming to the office, and every day I learn something from the team about all manner of things, from aspects of American foreign policy to how to make a great mojito.
"Last year I spoke to both to the Director General Tim Davie and to Stewart and signalled my desire to end my three decade run on the show after the next election, and that’s the plan.
"When the time comes it will be a massive wrench. However, I’ll be leaving Newsnight but not the BBC. I’ll still be presenting The Reunion and Start the Week on Radio 4, TV documentaries too as well as finishing, finally, my third novel. There are exciting times ahead."
BBC Director-General, Tim Davie says: “Generations of Newsnight viewers have benefitted from Kirsty’s authority, her razor-sharp insight and her journalistic flair. She sets the standard for engaging yet authoritative presenting. I speak on behalf of the whole BBC when I thank her for the past 30 years.
“I’m delighted the BBC is not losing Kirsty altogether when she steps back from Newsnight and look forward to seeing and hearing her beyond the busy political year ahead.”
Kirsty is Newsnight’s longest-serving presenter, having joined the programme in 1993. During her time at the programme she has covered eight Prime Ministers and interviewed many prominent politicians and cultural figures, including the final interview with the playwright Harold Pinter.
Kirsty reported and presented from Scotland after the 1996 Dunblane massacre. She conducted the only interview with Lord Macpherson following his inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and in America interviewed victims of Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro. Alongside Newsnight itself, Kirsty presented the programme’s arts strand Newsnight Review for more than a decade.
Kirsty has also made documentaries on the pervasive nature of social media and its impact on young female mental health, and about the taboo about the menopause.