Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart has announced he is leaving the Daily Show Facebook/Comedy Central

Jon Stewart has announced he will be leaving The Daily Show later this year.

Stewart, 52, has starred as the host of Comedy Central's parody news programme since 1999.

The network said the show is expected to continue, but a replacement for Stewart has not yet to been named.

There was no immediate explanation for Stewart's departure, but in a televised announcement he said it was time for somebody else to take up the reins.

He said: "This show does not deserve a slightly restless host and neither do you."

In a statement by Comedy Central, it read: "For the better part of the last two decades, we have had the incredible honor and privilege of working with Jon Stewart. His comedic brilliance is second to none.

"Jon has been at the heart of Comedy Central, championing and nurturing the best talent in the industry, in front of and behind the camera. Through his unique voice and vision, The Daily Show has become a cultural touchstone for millions of fans and unparalleled platform for political comedy that will endure for years to come.

"Jon will remain at the helm of The Daily Show until later this year. He is a comic genius, generous with his time and talent, and will always be part of the Comedy Central family."

It was not made clear whether he would move to another network.