Kirsty Wark is set to step down as the lead presenter of Newsnight, the BBC’s flagship nightly current affairs show, following the next election. She has been at the helm of the programme for a full 30 years as of today.

Kirsty will continue her presenting duties for the BBC on various programmes, including The Reunion and Start the Week on Radio 4, along with contributing to 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 holds the distinction of being Newsnight’s longest-serving presenter, having joined the programme in 1993. Over her tenure, she has covered the administrations of eight Prime Ministers and conducted interviews with numerous notable politicians and cultural figures, including a pivotal interview with the playwright Harold Pinter.

Kirsty reported from Scotland after the tragic 1996 Dunblane massacre. She conducted the exclusive interview with Lord Macpherson following his inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and in the U.S., she spoke with victims of the Cleveland kidnapper, Ariel Castro. In addition to Newsnight itself, Kirsty helmed the programme’s arts segment, Newsnight Review, for over a decade.

Kirsty has also produced documentaries addressing the pervasive influence of social media and its impact on the mental health of young women, as well as exploring the stigma surrounding menopause.