Victoria Derbyshire: who is new Newsnight presenter?

Advertisement

The appointment follows the departure of Emily Maitlis and Emma Barnett from the program earlier this year

Victoria Derbyshire will join Newsnight as the main presenter, it has been announced.

Advertisement

Derbyshire, who has been with the BBC since the late 1990s, will present Newsnight on a permanent basis from September.

Register to our What to Watch newsletter

Here’s everything you need to know about Victoria Derbyshire’s appointment to Newsnight.

Advertisement

Who is Victoria Derbyshire?

Born in Ramsbottom, Lancashire, Victoria is one of the country’s best-known journalists. Her career began when she was studying broadcast journalism at UCLan and she went on to present Panorama, Newsnight and the Victoria Derbyshire Show. In between, the mother of two even found time to cast a spell on I’m A Celebrity!

Victoria Derbyshire is a journalist and presenter who has worked at the BBC since 1998. She attended Bury Grammar School for Girls, a private school, before earning a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Linguistics from the University of Liverpool.

Advertisement

She is best known as the presenter of Victoria Derbyshire, her self-titled current affairs programme. Consisting of original reports, interviews and audience debates, the series was broadcast on BBC Two from 2015 to 2020.

Since then, Derbyshire has presented weekday morning BBC news programmes. During an early coronavirus lockdown, she presented the National Domestic Abuse Hotline phone number written on her hand and drew attention to the number of people isolating with abusive partners.

Advertisement

When will Victoria Derbyshire start Newsnight?

Victoria Derbyshire will begin presenting Newsnight on a permanent basis from September, but will appear on the show before then.

Advertisement

She will continue to host Ukrainecast, the BBC podcast about the invasion of Ukraine.

What did Victoria Derbyshire say about the Newsnight presentation?

Advertisement

In a statement, Victoria Derbyshire said: “I am delighted to join the legend 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 UK journalism and help shape the future of the programme. I can’t wait to champion more stories about people’s lives while holding those who represent them accountable.”

Advertisement

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

“Victoria is an amazing interviewer with an amazing connection to her audience.”

Advertisement

Newsnight editor Stewart Maclean said: “Victoria is one of the most persistent journalists in the business, with a fantastic ability to ask the simple questions our viewers want answered and a shelf full of significant accolades for her work.

“We’re delighted to have her join Kirsty as our main presenter on Newsnight. It’s an exciting time for Newsnight and Victoria and Kirsty will be a formidable partnership at the heart of our presenter series.”

Advertisement

Who is Kirsty Wark?

Kirsty Wark currently hosts Newsnight. Victoria Derbyshire will present alongside Wark from September.

Advertisement

Wark has presented Newsnight since 1993.

Who presents the BBC Breakfast?

Advertisement

Victoria Derbyshire’s appointment to Newsnight was announced alongside news of Dan Walker’s replacement as BBC Breakfast presenter.

Jon Kay is now the new regular presenter on BBC Breakfast Monday to Wednesday.

Advertisement

When did Emily Maitlis and Emma Barnett leave the show?

Emily Maitlis was a regular Newsnight presenter from 2006 to 2022, where she was the first presenter — and until 2019 the only presenter — not to attend private school. After nearly two decades associated with the program, Maitlis left to take a new position as a podcaster/radio news anchor for Global (owned by LBC Radio).

Advertisement

Emma Barnett was a Newsnight presenter from March 2019 to January 2022. As a journalist she has been widely criticized for asking superficial questions of Labor politicians – memorably in 2019 she asked Angela Rayner if a Labor government would “nationalize sausages” – and in February 2021 this was the case for her “flaringly hostile” Interview with Zara Mohammed, the first woman and youngest person to be elected General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain.

Barnett has since left Newsnight to host a podcast for Bloomberg and to present the weekly interview show Emma Barnett Meets.

Advertisement

When did Victoria Derbyshire have breast cancer?

Victoria Derbyshire announced in 2015 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and would have a mastectomy in September. She continued to present the news throughout her treatment and recorded a series of informative video diaries about her condition.

Advertisement

These videos can still be viewed on YouTube.

Advertisement