Jeremy Paxman bowed out of Newsnight after 25 years with a parting joke, bringing his sardonic style to a spoof presenting the weather.
His final show saw Boris Johnson become the last person to face the veteran broadcaster's abrasive interviewing technique, but the London mayor had only warm words to say about him.
As he signed off the BBC2 programme for the final time last night, Paxman told viewers: "I'll just say thank you for watching Newsnight. I hope you continue to enjoy it. Goodnight and goodbye."
Earlier, Michael Howard appeared on the programme and asked if he would like to repeat a question 12 times, as he famously did over claims the former Home Secretary "threatened to overrule" a director over the possible sacking of a prison governor.
Paxman ended the programme with a weather forecast saying: "And tomorrow's weather - more of the same. I don't know why they make such a fuss about it."
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.
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.
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.