Jeremy Paxman gained a reputation for never shirking the difficult questions in his interviews with politicians on Newsnight, such in this infamous 1997 grilling of future Tory leader Michael Howard, who was asked exactly the same question several times.
The BBC thanked Jeremy Paxman for agreeing to stay on at Newsnight to help its new editor "following a difficult period" which saw the show lambasted after it pulled a planned expose of Jimmy Savile's sex crimes.
A corporation spokeswoman said: "The BBC is immensely grateful for this gesture, which is entirely in keeping with his outstanding contribution to both Newsnight and, over four decades, the BBC itself."
Paxman will present his last Newsnight show in June.
Jeremy Paxman will continue to present University Challenge despite stepping down as the host of Newsnight, the BBC has said.
Paxman has fronted the quiz show since 1994, when it was revived by the BBC having previously been an ITV show presented by Bamber Gascoigne.
Jeremy Paxman said he is quitting the flagship current affairs show Newsnight and would like to "go to bed at much the same time as most people".
The broadcaster, one of the most familiar faces on the BBC2 show, is one of the corporation's biggest stars.
In a statement, he said: "I have decided it is time to move on from Newsnight. After 25 years, I should rather like to go to bed at much the same time as most people.
"This was a decision I reached - and informed the BBC of - last July. I shall work out the remainder of my contract and will not seek another.
"It's been fun. I have had the pleasure of working with lots of clever, creative and amusing people. I think I've been lucky and wish the programme well."
The BBC's Director General Tony Hall hailed Jeremy Paxman's "rare and dazzling talent" after the presenter announced he was quitting the BBC show Newsnight.
– Tony Hall
This is a particularly poignant moment for me, because I have known Jeremy and relished working with him, since the day I joined the BBC in 1973. And I am therefore better placed than most to know what a remarkable job he has done at Newsnight.
His is a rare and dazzling talent. He has a unique ability to create moments of real discomfort for politicans and memorable delight for audiences. For that cussed brilliance and much more besides, the BBC and our audiences will always be in his debt.
Jeremy Paxman said he had "no idea" what he was going to do next in an "emotional" speech at the BBC, his Newsnight colleague Mark Urban tweeted:
Paxman is leaving Newsnight "better to go at a time of my own chosing" #legend
A brief, emotional speech to the #Newsnight team as Paxman hangs up his hat "I have no idea what I am going to do next"
One of the BBC's biggest stars Jeremy Paxman has announced he is quitting the flagship current affairs show Newsnight.