Colbert named Letterman replacement

This Is Lancashire: Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as the host of The Late Show. (AP) Stephen Colbert will succeed David Letterman as the host of The Late Show. (AP)

Stephen Colbert is to replace David Letterman as CBS's late-night host.

CBS announced that The Colbert Report presenter will replace Letterman when he retires next year. Colbert has signed a five-year contract.

Letterman has hosted Late Show With David Letterman since 1993. He turns 67 on Saturday.

"I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead," Colbert said in a statement.

Comedy Central's Emmy-winning The Colbert Report has been a hit since its launch in 2005.

Last week, Letterman announced his plans to leave his show and end an unmatched small-hours run which began in 1992 when he launched Late Night on NBC.

He moved to CBS when he lost out to Jay Leno to host NBC's The Tonight Show upon Johnny Carson's retirement. Leno stepped down from Tonight in February, and was replaced by Jimmy Fallon.

The new late-night face-off at 11.35pm will consist of Fallon, CBS's Colbert and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel.

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