It’s the end of an era for QI.
Stephen Fry, who has been hosting the quiz show since its inception, is to exit the series at the end of the upcoming season, M, which is set to premiere this Friday on BBC Two.
Despite his departure, the BBC has decided that rather than ending the series half way through the alphabet, they will continue with a new host, with Sandi Toksvig set to fill the chair going forward.
Fry, who has a worldwide fan base thanks to his comedy roles as well as turns on U.S. series Bones and 24 (pictured), was not originally set to host QI when it was being pilot. Back then, he was set as one of the team captains opposite Alan Davies, but was drafted to fill in as the host, when Michael Palin was unable to tape the pilot.
“For thirteen years I had one of the best jobs on television. Behind the camera squadrons of quite extraordinarily brilliant researchers, programme makers and uniquely curious (in both senses of the word) people making that job so much easier”, Stephen Fry said in a statement. “In front of the camera generations of lively minds and above all of course the wonder of nature that is Alan Davies. After passing the alphabetical halfway mark I thought it time to move on, but I will never cease to be grateful to John Lloyd for devising QI and for everyone else for making it such fun”.
“QI is my favourite television programme both to watch and to be on, so this is absolutely my dream job. (My Nordic background also makes me keen to spend time with the Elves). Stephen has been utterly brilliant with the first half of the alphabet”, commented Sandi Toksvig. “Now I look forward to picking up the baton, mixing my metaphors and sailing towards the Land of Nod (i.e. Z). Who knows what lies ahead? It should all be quite interesting.”
While BBC Two Controller Kim Shillinglaw added: “‘My huge thanks to Stephen Fry who has presented QI for thirteen fantastic years and I’m delighted to welcome the wonderful Sandi Toksvig to the show; she is exactly the kind of bright, brilliant company I want to see on BBC Two”.