In massive news for Australians who spend their Monday nights screaming at the television, Q&A mainstay Tony Jones has announced he will stand down from full-time hosting duties before the year is through.
The Australian reports Jones will step back from his role to travel with his wife, the very excellent Four Corners host Sarah Ferguson, as she picks up her new role as the ABC’s China bureau chief for the next few years.
Jones, who has moderated conversations between some of the nation’s most cooked political units since 2008, said “going to China is an opportunity that is too good to miss.”
He’s reportedly signed up for between 30 and 35 hosting gigs before his departure in October, down from his usual slate of 40-odd. On top of irregular hosting duties in the future, Jones said he will spend the time penning his sophomore novel.
All of this begs the question: who will take things as a comment now?
Speculation has mounted that ABC Breakfast host Virginia Trioli could take up the gig, following her long and successful history of keeping Q&A panels level in lieu of Jones. Of course, a whole rabble of other former hosts are in the mix, too.
Full disclosure: as someone who has dissected countless episodes of Q&A to share their most onerous moments with you, I would like to formally express my interest in the role. Will I maintain strict impartiality? Yes. Will arguments be decided by impromptu wrestling matches? Also yes. You know where to find me, ABC.