PM Runners and Riders

Radio 4’s closest thing to drive time, PM, is without a presenter with stalwart Eddie Mair departing for the bright lights of commercial radio at LBC, where he will displace Iain Dale in the drive time prime slot. The BBC’s bitter ongoing gender pay row is said to be a factor in Mair, who was said to be unwilling to take a gender based pay-cut, going. Additional controversy over gender balance among the top presenting slots is an additional headache for the Beeb. Guido takes a look at the names doing the rounds at Broadcasting House…

Emma Barnett – Headline maker fast becoming a household name thanks to her fearless Brillo-style grilling of politicians. There would be push back from 5Live who want to keep her. Strong contender…

Carolyn Quinn – Already Mair’s deputy at PM with lots of relief presenting experience on the show. A move could perhaps free up the Westminster Hour for one of the other political correspondents. Would be a direct and predictable step up the ladder. Safe option…

Mishal Husain – Established presenter with internal reputation for even-handedness. With the Today programme said to be in turmoil, it is rumored numerous presenters are open to jumping ship. Logical move…

Martha Kearney – Huge experience of Radio 4‘s daytime news output over 11 years on The World At One. Top flight political experience at Newsnight, too. The WATO production team is shared with PM. Another who might be looking for a way out of the troubled Today programme…

Laura Kuenssberg – A huge boon for Radio 4 if Laura K were to spend more time on the station; would be an opportunity to walk straight onto a big show as the main presenter if the BBC’s Political Editor wanted to move from reporting to presenting. No sign of that yet though…

Robert Peston – Famous for his on air ‘banter’ clashes with Mair, Peston was a longtime contributor to PM before he defected to ITV and is said to love the programme. His Peston on Sunday show has been bumped to Wedenesday nights after ITV News at Ten. Time for a return to Auntie? 

Vicky Young – Chief Political Correspondent who could move from reporting to full time presenting. Lots of experience on the BBC News channel.

– the ubiquitous media editor can never be ruled out of any BBC presenter role.

The pressure is on to make the optics right around the appointment – remember the Question Time gig is also up for grabs, which may dissuade some.




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