Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry has fronted QI for 180 episodes.Getty

After 13 years at the helm of BBC 2's comedy panel show, QI, Stephen Fry is stepping down as host. Announcing his imminent departure, the 58-year-old actor and presenter said it was "one of the best jobs on television" but insisted it was time to move on.

"For 13 years I had one of the best jobs on television," he said. "Behind the camera squadrons of quite extraordinarily brilliant researchers, programme-makers and uniquely curious (in both senses of the word) people make that job so much easier.

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

QI, created by former Blackadder and Not The Nine O'Clock News producer John Lloyd, was first broadcast in 2003 on BBC2 and BBC4, briefly switching to BBC1. Although Fry was originally hired to be a team captain opposite Alan Davies, he agreed to host the show as a last-minute replacement for Michael Palin

The actor, who has fronted the show for 180 episodes will be replaced by former News Quiz host, Sandi Toksvig. Toksvig, a former Cambridge university student and friend of Fry, described QI as her "dream job." "Stephen has been utterly brilliant with the first half of the alphabet," she said. "Now I look forward to picking up the baton, mixing my metaphors and sailing towards the Land of Nod (ie Z). Who knows what lies ahead? It should all be quite interesting."