David Dimbleby and Huw Edwards to share BBC general election coverage

2015 poll to be Dimbleby's last, with him fronting election night and Edwards taking over as presenter the following morning

Next year's general election will be David Dimbleby's ninth and last, as the BBC announced that he would share presenting duties on the 2015 poll with Huw Edwards.

The 2015 general election on 7 May will be a two-handed affair, with Dimbleby hosting the night of the poll, 10pm-7am, and Edwards taking over as lead presenter on the Friday morning and hosting coverage until 10pm that night.

With a second successive hung parliament a distinct possibility, Edwards's role is likely to be central, putting him in the BBC presenting chair for any moves to form a new coalition government on the day after the 2015 general election.

However, Dimbleby will be back on air on the Friday night, 8 May, presenting a special post-election edition of Question Time, discussing the vote and the prospects for the next government.

Dimbleby will also present the local and European election results in May this year.

Edwards, the presenter of BBC1's 10pm bulletin, will become the BBC's sole lead anchor for its general election night coverage after 2015, and will also take charge of the its coverage of the Scottish referendum in September this year.

The announcement on Thursday follows speculation that Dimbleby, 75, who has led the BBC's coverage of every general election since 1979, would be replaced next year.

The BBC's director of news James Harding said: "This election is likely to be one of the most complex and closely fought in recent times and we are delighted to have such an experienced team to lead our coverage."

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John Plunkett

The GuardianTramp

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