Stephen Fry is leaving QI. The 58-year-old actor and comedian is stepping down as the host of the popular BBC show as of next year. Fry has described the job as the “best in television” but simply feels it is time for him to move on.

Stephen FryStephen Fry arriving at Chiltern Firehouse in London, July 2015.

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"For 13 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,” Fry said in a statement to the BBC on Wednesday (13th October). 

"In front of the camera generations of lively minds and above all of course the wonder of nature that is Alan Davies."

The series, as of 2016, will have been hosted by Fry for 13 years. Fry was never intended to be the permanent host. He joined the show as a guest panellist but stepped up as host, initially just for the pilot episode, when Michael Palin left before the show aired. 

There has been 12 series of the show so far which feature guest panellists and Alan Davies as a permanent panellist. Some of the guest panellists have expressed their sadness after learning of Fry’s departure, including comedian Dara Ó Briain

Ó Briain, who has appeared on the show more than 30 times, took to Twitter to jokingly lament Fry’s departure. 

‘Farewell then @stephenfry (from QI),’ Ó Briain. ‘You hugely ennobled the job of handing out imaginary points as a plot device to let funny people talk.’

Fry will be replaced in the role by Sandi Toksvig, the writer and comedian best known for presenting Fifteen-to-One and as a regular guest host on Have I Got New For You? She has also hosted BBC Radio Four’s The News Quiz but stepped down from the role earlier this year after ten years. 

Toksvig confirmed the news of her appointment and, taking to twitter, expressed her excitement at being cast in the role adding that she has ‘big shoes to fill’.

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