The BBC is set to shake up its political coverage as veteran reporter Nick Robinson moves to the national broadcaster's main current affairs radio show, the Radio 4 Today programme.

The 51-year-old took over from Andrew Marr as the BBC's political editor nearly 10 years ago, in September 2005.

The Oxford University graduate recently underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his lung and is still undergoing a course of chemotherapy.

The operation was a success but Robinson cruelly missed out on fully reporting the general election for the BBC due to the after-effects of the surgery.

The married father of three has since returned to BBC screens to document the aftermath of the election, which saw the Tories secure a shock majority in the House of Commons and led to the resignations of Labour leader Ed Miliband and Liberal Democrat head Nick Clegg.

Robinson will not replace outgoing Jim Naughtie on the Today programme. Naughtie, who has been on the show since 1994, will because a roving reporter for the BBC in the UK and across the globe.

"As a child it was the sound not just of the latest news and the sharpest comment but also of my best friend's dad, Brian Redhead, who inspired my love of radio," said Robinson.

"Brian relished the opportunity to 'drop a word in the nation's ear'. I'm delighted that all these years later I am being given the chance to sit in what was his chair.

"For the past 21 years, ever since Brian's death, Jim Naughtie has charmed and stimulated Radio 4 listeners with his unique combination of political insights, passion for the arts and brilliant front-line reporting. It's a real honour to be chosen to succeed him.

"I will miss my privileged perch inside parliament and outside Downing Street but after a decade as political editor, I'm looking forward to hearing someone else's analysis of what our politicians are up to."

The BBC said a replacement for Robinson will be appointed in due course. James Landale, the BBC's deputy political editor, temporarily took over from Robinson in the run-up to the general election.

He notably interviewed David Cameron in his Oxfordshire house, where the prime minister promised not to run for a third term.

The pledge, with the Tories neck-and-neck with Labour in the opinion polls, was criticised as arrogant by some. But the comment now means Cameron is likely to stand aside ahead of next general election in 2020.

However, the BBC is reportedly looking to appoint a female presenter as Robinson's successor. The likes of Laura Kuenssberg (Newsnight) and Lucy Manning (BBC News) could be in the running, according to The Telegraph.