ABC presenter’s shock resignation
TONY Jones is the man who gave us one of Australia's finest traditions: screaming at the television on a Monday night while tweeting with enough anger to break your phone screen with your thumbs.
But now, the host of ABC's weekly Q&A program has announced his intention to step down.
The 63-year-old presenter said he would "reluctantly" give up his role as the show's main host before the end of 2019, The Australian reports.
He will travel to Asia with his wife, fellow ABC presenter Sarah Ferguson, as she takes on a new role as the ABC'S China bureau chief.
"I love doing Q&A," Jones said. "But going to China is an opportunity that is too good to miss."
Q&A has given us many an iconic moment with Jones at the helm.
There was that one particularly colourful Twitter handle that somehow made it onto the live screen. Specifically, said colour was brown:
It was also where former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull debuted his famous leather jacket - back when we all had hope for him:
And let's not forget the time an audience member threw a shoe at John Howard, which Jones handled swiftly:
Jones has been a journalist for over 30 years, working on several ABC programs including Four Corners, Foreign Correspondent and Lateline. He's won four Walkley awards.
Jones and Ferguson have been married for over 25 years. The ABC announced Ferguson's overseas move last week, but she will finish off an upcoming ABC documentary series before departing.
"The China story is irresistible for a journalist," Ferguson said in a statement. "It has become the story of our time - and one with immense implications for Australia. Understanding China and the Chinese perspective is vital.
"This is a unique opportunity to join the Beijing bureau and continue the first rate analysis and coverage my colleagues have produced."
It is not yet known who will replace her on Four Corners.
According to The Australian, Jones is still negotiating a few short stints on Q&A for 2020 and beyond, which could mean up to 15 shows next year.
Meanwhile, the burning question is who will replace him as the show's permanent host.
Virginia Trioli, who typically hosts the show when Jones is on a break, is a possibility. Annabel Crabb, Julia Baird and Hamish MacDonald, all of whom have guest-hosted the show, are also options.
Host of The Drum, Ellen Fanning could be a contender, as well as the show's former host Steve Cannane.