Out TV presenter Evan Davis has been announced as the new main presenter of Newsnight.

Davis will step in the host of the long-running BBC2 show, after Jeremy Paxman stepped down with more than 20 years on the programme.

BBC director general Tony Hall hailed Davis as “an outstanding journalist who will do an outstanding job on Newsnight”.

He said: “Evan is an extraordinarily clever and intelligent interviewer. I think he has a wonderful presence on TV and I have no doubt he will be a really great presenter of Newsnight.”

The host will step down from his Radio 4 show to take up the new duties.

He told PinkNews earlier this month: “You could not imagine a more comfortable place to be gay than the BBC.

“When you say ‘who is gay at the BBC?’ Most people immediately think of Graham Norton but there are a lot of gay people at the BBC in news and business coverage who don’t happen to sing about it.

“I think that’s a good thing and the battle for the next 10-15 years is to make being gay not a big deal.”

“I’m basically a very boring person, and, in Medialand, being gay makes you a little more interesting than you would otherwise be.

He added: “On the news you often have a middle aged man looking intelligent and stately with a glamorous, younger woman. That’s the way TV has often worked and the BBC is not immune from it.”