The new face of Q&A has finally been announced as the ABC program’s first host Tony Jones steps down after 11 years.
The new face of Q&A has finally been announced as the ABC program’s first host Tony Jones steps down after 11 years.

Q&A host replacement announced

The ABC today announced that Tony Jones will step down as the host of Q&A after 11 years at the helm.

Jones, who signed on as host of the network's flagship political program in 2008 - its first year on air - will be replaced by The Project's Hamish Macdonald.

"The ABC is delighted to announce that Hamish Macdonald will join the ABC as the new host of weekly flagship discussion program Q&A and as a senior presenter across television and radio," a statement on the new appointment read.

Channel 10 has not confirmed whether Macdonald, who has been a regular host of The Sunday Project and The Project since 2017, will continue on with the network.

 

 

The announcement was included in the ABC's 2020 programming release.

It comes weeks after Jones suffered an embarrassing blow from Media Watch after falsely suggesting only 5000 people watched Sky News after 6pm.

 

Tony Jones will step down as host of Q&A. Picture: Supplied
Tony Jones will step down as host of Q&A. Picture: Supplied

The 63-year-old political journalist was forced to issue an on-air correction after the blunder was pulled up by Paul Barry.

 

 

Over his years as host of Q&A, Jones has overseen his fair share of controversial episodes, including the moment in 2010 when an audience member threw a pair of shoes at former prime minister John Howard.

And in 2015, he made headlines for inviting Zaky Mallah, a former terror suspect, to ask a question of a minister from the live audience.

Prior to his appearance on the program, Mallah had tweeted that two female journalists should be gang raped.

At the time, Jones said Q&A was unaware of the "very offensive, misogynistic tweet" posted before his controversial appearance.

Tony Jones admitted the ABC “made an error in judgment” in allowing one-time terror suspect Zaky Mallah to join the Q&A audience. Picture: Supplied.
Tony Jones admitted the ABC “made an error in judgment” in allowing one-time terror suspect Zaky Mallah to join the Q&A audience. Picture: Supplied.

Macdonald, 38, who will take over from Jones next year, was previously contracted with ABC television as a senior foreign correspondent based in London and the US.

 

His 2014 contract reportedly allowed him to accept limited outside work with other organisations.

The former Al Jazeera journalist has also been a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio National between appearances on The Project.

 

Q&A airs Monday nights at 9.30pm on ABC