QUESTION Time host David Dimbleby said goodbye after 25 years with Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas a guest on his last show.

The popular host, 80, was given a standing ovation by guests and the audience at the end his final episode on Thursday night.

Mr Dimbleby, who lives in Polegate, will be replaced by news presenter Fiona Bruce.

At the end of the programme, he said: “After a quarter of a century I’m off to new pastures, or to search for new pastures.

“But I didn’t want to end without saying something about this programme which is, of all the programmes I have ever worked in for the BBC, a truly team effort and I did want to end by thanking the people who have made it possible over the last 25 years.

“Above all, I wanted to thank you, this audience and you’re joining more than 100,000 people over the last 25 years who have been in the Question Time audience. You have exercised this, what I think is a really important democratic right, which is to put questions and to argue with each other as you have done.”

The veteran broadcaster’s final show featured a debate about Brexit and the future of the country. He was also joined by former Conservative Party chairman David Davis, MP Nicky Morgan, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner and comedian Jo Brand. Ms Lucas, who supports a second referendum, argued the promised Brexit by Theresa May “is impossible to deliver”.

She said: “I think she was weak of course, before the no confidence vote, she’s weak now, but that’s not her fault in many ways. It is the fault of Brexit that she is being asked to achieve the unachievable.

“You cannot find a way in exiting in this smooth and trouble-free way that is going to make the trade deals the easiest we’ve ever done, that’s going to give us the exact same benefits. She was set up to fail from the very beginning because Brexit was never going to be like that.

“So changing whoever is in Number 10 doesn’t make any difference to the arithmetic around getting her deal through Parliament.

“No other deal is going to get any more support. That’s why we need to go to the people because there’s so much gridlock. It is the first opportunity to have a vote based on the facts.

“We can look at the detail of the deal that Theresa May brought back and if people still liked it, then great. But if they don’t I think we should have the right to remain.”

When the show finished, Ms Lucas, along with the other guests, paid their tributes to Mr Dimbleby.

She tweeted: “A real honour to have been on David Dimbleby’s last-ever BBC Question Time.

“After 25 years he still keeps holding politicians to account and quite rightly doesn’t let us get away with a thing. It’s terrifying, in a good way.

“Wishing him all the best for the future.”

Mr Dimbleby, who was born in Surrey, started his journalism career in the 1960s when he joined BBC as a reporter in Bristol.

He has covered every general election since 1979 and the US Presidential elections. He also hosted BBC Budget specials and was a presenter of the current affairs series, Nationwide.