ABC presenter Tony Jones has announced he will be stepping down as Q&A host before the end of the year.
After more than a decade in one of the nation’s most iconic TV roles, Tony Jones said he is “reluctantly” giving up his role, according to The Australian.
Jones will travel to Asia with former Four Corners host and wife, Sarah Ferguson, to accompany her in her new role as the ABC’s China bureau chief.
The 63-year-old presenter said: “I love doing Q&A,” adding “but going to China is an opportunity that is too good to miss”.
Jones has been a journalist for over 30 years, working on several ABC programs including Four Corners, Foreign Correspondent and Lateline.
He is also the recipient of four Walkley awards.
It will be the end of an era for Q&A, which Jones launched in May 2008 with former prime minister Kevin Rudd as his first guest.
According to The Australian, Jones is negotiating a few short features on Q&A for 2020 and beyond, which ABC sources say could mean up to 15 shows for him next year.
It is unknown who will replace Jones as Q&A’s permanent new host.
The prominent contender for the role is Virginia Trioli, who normally hosts the show when Jones is on a break.
If Trioli is unavailable, other candidates include: Ellen Fanning, Julia Baird and Annabel Crabb (both of whom have guest-hosted Q&A).