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20 MAR

Emily Maitlis becomes Newsnight's lead host

by BBC

Emily Maitlis will become the new lead presenter of BBC Two's Newsnight after Evan Davis's departure.

Kirsty Wark will have an "enhanced" role on the programme while 5 Live presenter Emma Barnett joins as a new presenter, the BBC confirmed.

The announcement comes a month after Maitlis won network presenter of the year at the RTS TV Journalism Awards.

Davis left the programme last year to take over from Eddie Mair as the lead presenter of PM on BBC Radio 4.

Maitlis said she was "delighted to be moving into this role at a time when Newsnight feels so pivotal to our understanding of this extraordinary moment in British history".

Barnett will continue to present her daily morning show on BBC Radio 5 Live in addition to her Newsnight presenter shifts.

"I can't wait to get started at Newsnight at a time when no one can predict the next hour in British politics, never mind the next evening," Barnett said.

This marks the first time the programme has had an all-female presenting team, and follows the appointment of Fiona Bruce as David Dimbleby's successor on Question Time.

The new presenter line-up on Newsnight will take effect immediately.

Esmé Wren, the programme's editor, said: "This is a tremendous presenter line-up that sends out a clear signal about the programme's growing ambition.

"All three presenters bring substantial political clout and a wealth of expertise across a broad range of subjects."

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