Evan Davis, one of the most well-known voices of Radio 4’s Today programme, will replace Jeremy Paxman as the main host of BBC Newsnight after the famously forthright presenter maid his stage exit last month after 25 years.
A former economics editor of the flagship current affairs show Newsnight, as well as BBC News, Davis will join long-standing existing hosts Kirsty Wark and Emily Maitlis as well as Laura Kuenssberg.
With a number of high-profile female hosts on the team already, Davis' appointment may be viewed as a surprise as the BBC announced just today that it needs to make more of an effort to address the corporation’s gender imbalance in its annual report.
Newsnight editor Ian Katz said: "Evan brings a rare combination of curiosity, intelligence and mischief to his broadcasting - just the qualities I want Newsnight to be known for. I've admired him from afar as a listener and viewer for years and I'm thrilled that he's joining us to help reinvent the show where he made his name in the Nineties."
Davis was not considered to be a name in the running for the top job.
Bookmaker Paddy Power said it had not received a single request for odds on Davis and that Channel 4 news presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy was considered such a front-runner for the role it suspended betting on him in June, a media industry blog reports.
In addition to Murthy, Kuenssberg and occasional Newsnight host Eddie Mair were also favourites.