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    Sandi Toksvig Becomes First Female Host Of TV Comedy Panel Show After Stephen Fry Quits "QI"

    Former Radio 4 News Quiz presenter Sandi Toksvig said hosting QI is her dream job.

    Sandi Toksvig will become the first female host of a mainstream comedy panel show on British TV when she takes over from Stephen Fry on the BBC's QI.

    Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images

    Toksvig, who previously presented Radio 4's News Quiz, said in a statement that her new role is her "dream job".

    "QI is my favourite television programme both to watch and to be on," she said, "so this is absolutely my dream job. (My Nordic background also makes me keen to spend time with the Elves)."

    QI, or as it's also known, Quite Interesting, began in 2003 and is the brain child of John Lloyd.

    Each series is named after a letter of the alphabet. After 13 years, Fry is leaving the show during the letter "M".

    "Stephen has been utterly brilliant with the first half of the alphabet," Toksvig said. "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."

    The announcement comes after Danny Cohen, the BBC's outgoing director of television, said last year that it's "not acceptable" to have a panel show with no women on them and that each programme should have at least one female panellist.

    Toksvig disagreed and responded by saying that more female hosts were needed instead.


    "For 13 years I had one of the best jobs on television," Fry said, announcing his departure.

    "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," he 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."

    John Phillips / Getty Images

    Lloyd said Toksvig's appointment is "well overdue" and described Fry's departure as "the end of an era".

    "It's been a thoroughly delightful experience," he said. "After more than 40 years in broadcasting, QI has been by far the most enjoyable show it has been my privilege to produce, and Stephen has been its big, beating heart.

    "Though we are all very sad he's decided to move on, I am confident that we have found the perfect person to occupy his gigantic shoes."

    Fiona Rutherford is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Fiona Rutherford at

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