Television host Tony Jones will farewell ABC show Q&A this year after more than a decade serving as the program’s main host.
The 63-year-old announced his resignation from the well-known political forum on Monday, confirming he will partake in his last episode sometime this year, The Australian‘s column Diary reports.
According to the publication, Jones plans to move to Asia with his wife, Four Corners host Sarah Ferguson, as she takes on a new role as the ABC‘s China bureau chief.
“I love doing Q&A,” he told Diary. “But going to China is an opportunity that is too good to miss.”
However, this won’t be the end of Jones’ long career in the spotlight, with the host claiming he is not thinking about retiring any time soon. While he’s reportedly expected to continue doing a few short stints on Q&A for 2020 and possibly a few years after, the political reporter also said he will work on completing a thriller novel which will follow on from his book The Twentieth Man.
Jones told The Australian he also hopes to pick up some reporting assignments for the ABC, however, only if they are outside of China.
Since the announcement of Jones’ departure, speculation has begun over who will take his position on Q&A.
According to The Australian, ABC News Breakfast host Virginia Trioli is bookies’ primary hot option to take over. The 53-year-old has been with the morning program since 2008, gaining quite a following over time.
However, there is debate over whether or not she will become Q&A‘s new host as there is speculation she may take on a new role with Jon Faine’s radio show on ABC 774, after he announced he will not continue with the program past 2019.
Other possible candidates for the Q&A host position include Ellen Fanning from The Drum and political journalists Julia Baird and Annabel Crabb.
Also in with a chance are Radio National presenter Hamish MacDonald, who also appears on Channel 10’s The Project and ABC‘s Investigations Unit reporter Steve Cannane.
Jones has been an instrumental part of the ABC media team for many years, having held positions as a reporter on Four Corners and a current affairs correspondent in London.
He is widely known across Australia for his reporting skills, claiming four of the coveted Walkey awards over the course of his career. In 2005, he was also awarded Outstanding Media Practitioner of the Year by Australian media company Crikey.