Fiona Bruce will host her first edition of Question Time on Thursday evening.
She is taking over from David Dimbleby, who has stepped down after 25 years fronting the political panel show.
He received a standing ovation from the audience during his last episode, which was broadcast on 13 December.
“There is nothing like [Question Time] on TV,” Bruce told The Telegraph ahead of her first edition, which is broadcast on BBC One at 22:35 GMT on Thursday.
“I am expecting people to say, ‘who the hell is that? Why have they got her?’ I’ve got a slight feeling of tin hats at the ready”.
The panel for her first programme includes Conservative MP James Cleverly, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry for Labour, Jo Swinson from the Liberal Democrats, journalist Melanie Phillips and comedian Nish Kumar, who hosts satirical news show The Mash Report.
Bruce currently hosts BBC One’s Six and Ten news bulletins as well as the Antiques Roadshow. She has also previously presented Crimewatch and Panorama.
In her Telegraph interview, Bruce said: “I have not felt this nervous in a long time, but I know that if I am nervous, that isn’t helpful.
“If people think you are nervous that isn’t a comfortable watch.”