Jeremy Paxman
Jeremy Paxman is to quit Newsnight BBC

The BBC has announced that Jeremy Paxman is to step down as presenter of BBC Two's Newsnight after 25-years.

The senior journalist made the decision last summer but then agreed to stay on until June "to help the new team bed down" after the appointment of new editor Ian Katz and following a difficult period for the BBC's flagship current affairs show, the BBC said.

"The BBC is immensely grateful for this gesture, which is entirely in keeping with his outstanding contribution to both Newsnight and, over four decades, the BBC itself," the UK's national broadcaster said in a statement.

Tony Hall, director general of the BBC, said: "This is a particularly poignant moment for me, because I have known Jeremy and relished working with him, since the day I joined the BBC in 1973. And I am therefore better placed than most to know what a remarkable job he has done at Newsnight.

"His is a rare and dazzling talent. He has a unique ability to create moments of real discomfort for politicians and memorable delight for audiences. For that cussed brilliance and much more besides, the BBC and our audiences will always be in his debt."

Paxman, 63, will continue to present University Challenge.

"We accept his decision to move on but I think it is fair to say that the only people really celebrating his decision will be the politicians and public figures he has so often and so brilliantly held to account," the BBC's director of news and current affairs, James Harding, said.