Hamish Macdonald confirmed to host ABC’s Q&A in 2020

Journalist and current co-host of Ten’s The Project, Hamish Macdonald, has been confirmed as the host of the ABC’s panel program Q&A for 2020.

Media speculation has been rife about who would replace long-serving host Tony Jones, with Macdonald’s name, along with Sky News’ David Speers, frequently being bandied about.

Speers is leaving Sky News next year to fill the void left by Barrie Cassidy on the ABC’s Insiders program.

And Macdonald has now been confirmed as the 2020 Q&A host, at the ABC’s Celebrate event this afternoon.


Macdonald starts his Q&A duties at the start of its 2020 season in February, and will also become a regular member of the RN Breakfast on-air team, and will do international reporting with Foreign Correspondent.

The new host – who has spent time with WIN, the UK’s Channel Four News, Al Jazeera, and the US’ ABC – was enthusiastic about his appointment.

“I’m so passionate about telling the big stories of our time through Australian eyes, for an Australian audience,” he said in a statement.

“This role will be a huge opportunity to make the most complicated issues accessible, engaging and exciting for all Australians, no matter where you live, no matter what you believe.

“I’m proud to join this great Australian institution and can’t wait to serve the audience by continuing the big and important conversations each week.”

Ten confirmed to Mumbrella that Macdonald will continue to appear on The Project.

“Network Ten warmly congratulates Hamish Macdonald on his new role as the host of Q&A,” a spokesperson said. “Hamish is one of Australia’s most respected broadcast journalists and news presenters and is most deserving of this prestigious position. As well as hosting Q&A, Hamish will continue as a valued member of The Project family.”

ABC’s director of news, Gaven Morris, echoed these sentiments, and said Macdonald was one of the brightest talents in Australian journalism, having covered conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the Ukraine, as well as nuclear disasters, uprisings and terrorist attacks – something which will be essential as “hosting Q&A requires a special set of skills”.

“It needs someone who is articulate and also a great listener, well connected, interested in everything and fully across news and current events at home and abroad,” Morris said.

“Hamish can do all of that – and also brings his own brand of warmth and energy that audiences love. He is a terrific communicator, and an experienced and accomplished broadcaster.

“He is an integral part of our plans to continue to evolve Q&A in 2020 alongside new executive producer Erin Vincent and the program team.”

ABC’s head of investigative and in-depth journalism, John Lyons, added: “Hamish’s energy and ability to draw from people their real-life concerns will further strengthen Q&A as a forum for reflecting the views of Australians and seeking ideas for the future.”

In 2020, Q&A will also have a new executive producer, Erin Vincent, who replaces the show’s creator Peter McEvoy in the role.


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