Victoria Derbyshire: who is new Newsnight presenter, who is co-host Kirsty Wark - did she have breast cancer?
The appointment follows the departures of Emily Maitlis and Emma Barnett from the programme earlier this year
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Victoria Derbyshire will be joining Newsnight as a lead presenter, it has been announced.
Derbyshire, who has been with the BBC since the late 90s, will start presenting Newsnight permanently from September.
Here is everything you need to know about Victoria Derbyshire’s appointment to Newsnight.
Who is Victoria Derbyshire?
Victoria Derbyshire is a journalist and presenter who has been working at the BBC since 1998. She attended Bury Grammar School for Girls, a private school, before going on to study an undergraduate degree in English Literature and Linguistics at the University of Liverpool.
She’s best known as the host of Victoria Derbyshire, her self-titled current affairs programme. The series, comprised of original reporting, interviews, and audience debate, aired on BBC Two from 2015 to 2020.
Since then, Derbyshire has presented BBC News programmes in the morning on weekdays. During an early coronavirus lockdown, she presented with the telephone number of the National Domestic Abuse hotline written on her hand, drawing attention to the number of people isolating with abusive partners.
When will Victoria Derbyshire start presenting Newsnight?
Victoria Derbyshire will begin presenting Newsnight permanently from September, though will make appearances on the show prior to that.
She will continue to host Ukrainecast, the BBC’s podcast about the invasion of Ukraine.
What has Victoria Derbyshire said about presenting Newsnight?
In a statement, Victoria Derbyshire said “I am so delighted to be joining the legend that is 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 British journalism and help shape the programme’s future. I can’t wait to champion more stories about people’s lives while holding those who represent them to account.”
Jonathan Munro, Interim Director of BBC News, says: “It’s fantastic to be appointing two such talented presenters to start and finish the day on two of our most important news programmes.
“Victoria’s a formidable interviewer with an amazing connection to her audiences.”
Newsnight editor Stewart Maclean says: “Victoria is one of the most tenacious journalists in the business, with a fantastic ability to ask the straightforward questions our viewers want answered, and a shelf-full of major awards for her work.
“We’re delighted she’s joining us on Newsnight as a lead presenter alongside Kirsty. It’s an exciting time for Newsnight, and Victoria and Kirsty will be a formidable partnership at the heart of our presenter line up.”
Who is Kirsty Wark?
Kirsty Wark is currently presenting Newsnight. Victoria Derbyshire will be co-presenting with Wark from September.
Wark has been presenting Newsnight since 1993.
Who will be presenting BBC Breakfast?
Victoria Derbyshire’s appointment to Newsnight was announced alongside news of Dan Walker’s replacement as host of BBC Breakfast.
Jon Kay will become the new regular presenter on BBC Breakfast from Monday to Wednesday, effective immediately.
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 host - and, until 2019, the only host - not to attend private school. After nearly two decades associated with the programme, Maitlis left to pursue a new position as a podcaster/radio news host for Global (owned by LBC Radio).
Emma Barnett was a Newsnight presenter from March 2019 to January 2022. As a journalist, she received much criticism for asking facile questions of Labour politicians - memorably asking Angela Rayner in 2019 if a Labour government would “nationalise sausages” - and in February 2021 was criticised for her "strikingly hostile" interview of Zara Mohammed, the first woman and youngest person to be elected Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
Barnett has since left Newsnight to host a podcast for Bloomberg, presenting weekly interview show Emma Barnett Meets.
When did Victoria Derbyshire have breast cancer?
Victoria Derbyshire announced in 2015 that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and would be undergoing a mastectomy in September. She continued to present the news during her treatment, and recorded a number of informational video diaries about her condition.
These videos are still available to watch on YouTube.