BBC newsreader and Antiques Roadshow presenter Fiona Bruce has reportedly been offered the job of hosting Question Time.
Bruce, who would become the first female presenter of the current affairs panel show, could replace current host David Dimbleby next year, the Guardian reported.
Dimbleby announced in June that he would be leaving the role in December after 25 years in the presenter’s chair.
Names tipped among his possible successors included Kirsty Wark, Emily Maitlis, Victoria Derbyshire, Nick Robinson, Jeremy Paxman, John Humphrys and Huw Edwards.
A formal announcement could be made in the coming days, the Guardian said.
A BBC spokesman said: “We are not commenting on speculation.”
Reaction to the reports that Bruce could take the top job on the flagship BBC show was mixed.
BBC and Channel 5 presenter Jeremy Vine tweeted: “Inspired choice if so” while Sky’s Adam Boulton congratulated Bruce, describing her as the “civilised choice”.
Labour MP Liz McInnes tweeted: “Quite surprised by this. Wonder if Fiona Bruce will accept the job? The tone of #bbcqt will certainly be different – at the moment it usually descends into a badly refereed shouting match.”
Alan Sutherland said he would prefer Maitlis, who currently presents Newsnight, saying she was “by far the most qualified person to present this show and get it back to being a balanced and engaging programme”.
Fellow Twitter user Robert Harrison joked that Bruce’s experience on the Antiques Roadshow could serve her well on Question Time.
He said: “She’s used to handling old antiques so she’ll be fine.”