David Letterman will be succeeded by Stephen Colbert as host on CBS's The Late Show, it has been announced today. Letterman revealed that he'd be retiring from the late night talkshow last Thursday prompting immediate speculation over who would be replacing the long-term host.

Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert Is To Replace David Letterman On 'The Late Show.'

How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris quickly surfaced as a potential successor but the actor was unenthused about the prospect when quizzed during a press conference last week. Scottish comedian Craig Ferguson was also a name that was circulated widely but both rumours have been disproved upon CBS' announcement.

CBS confirmed that Colbert would replace the 66 year-old Letterman when he stands down from one of the most coveted slots on US television in 2015, after 21 years. "Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television," said Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS. "David Letterman's legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today's announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night."

David Letterman
David Letterman Announced His Impending Retirement From 'The Late Show' Last Thursday.

Colbert, whose Emmy-winning nightly show, The Colbert Report, originated as a segment on another Comedy Central satirical news broadcast, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, said in a statement: "Simply being a guest on David Letterman's show has been a highlight of my career. I never dreamed that I would follow in his footsteps, though everyone in late night follows Dave's lead. I'm thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth."

CBS revealed that a five-year agreement had been reached with Colbert and that the location of the new generation of the show would be announced at a later date. "Colbert's premiere date as host of The Late Show will be announced after Mr Letterman determines a timetable for his final broadcasts in 2015," the network said.

Neil Patrick Harris
So It Wasn't Neil Patrick Harris After All!

The 49 year-old TV star has been a mainstay on Comedy Central since 1997; a tenure that has been recognised by the cable channel: "Comedy Central is proud that the incredibly talented Stephen Colbert has been part of our family for nearly two decades," Comedy Central said in a statement, adding "We look forward to the next eight months of the ground-breaking Colbert Report and wish Stephen the very best."

David Letterman is set to step down from The Late Show in 2015.

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