John Humphrys’ “Today Matters for Tomorrow” Sign Off

After 32 years, the veteran broadcaster signed off his final edition of the Today Programme. Listen to it here…

mdi-timer 19th September 2019 @ 9:56 am 19th Sep 2019 @ 9:56 am mdi-comment Comments
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.

mdi-timer 2nd July 2018 @ 4:07 pm 2nd Jul 2018 @ 4:07 pm mdi-comment Comments
British Virgin Islands Accuse Hypocritical Hodge of “Colonialism”

Tax hypocrite Margaret Hodge took a kicking from Lorna Smith of British Virgin Islands Finance on the Today programme this morning, who accused the Labour grandee of “colonialism” for attempting to force them to introduce public ownership registers. Hodge’s amendment, backed by Corbyn, is in the Commons today. Well worth a listen to hear Hodge skewered…

As Guido has chronicled, Hodge had a £1.5 million shareholding in 0.01% tax rate-paying Stemcor. 96,000 Stemcor shares awarded to Hodge in 2011 came from the tax haven of Lichtenstein. Now she is attempting to enforce “colonialist” tax avoidance measures on the British Virgin Islands. You don’t get more hypocritical than that…

mdi-timer 1st May 2018 @ 10:03 am 1st May 2018 @ 10:03 am mdi-comment Comments
Corbyn Supporters Want to Nationalise and Expropriate Pensioners Without Compensation


Corbynista Cat Hobbs, founder and director of We Own It, a left-wing group which campaigns for state ownership, has revealed how Labour could enact its plan to nationalise utilities if Corbyn took office. Hobbs told Stephanie Flanders on the Today Programme that expropriation of shareholders in utility and transport firms was necessary in order to redress perceived historical wrongs on the part of firms. Hobbs said:

“Do these shareholders really deserve the market value… you’d compensate the shareholders for the money that they’ve put in, but the market value of the shares is much higher… so you’d compensate them for the money that they’ve put in and that’s fair, but what you wouldn’t do is compensate them for the full market value.”

Cat Hobbs called Labour’s manifesto commitment to nationalisation “fantastic”. Corbynistas are so dogmatically hell-bent on nationalisation they will happily rob pensioners in ordinary retirement schemes…

mdi-timer 21st September 2017 @ 9:29 am 21st Sep 2017 @ 9:29 am mdi-comment Comments
Rees-Mogg vs Chapman

James Chapman, the former pol-ed, turned SpAd turned lobbyist putting the potti into Bell Pottinger, claims that the Tories will never win an election again and that Cabinet ministers sympathise with setting up a new centre party, “the Democrats”Chappers sounding crackers

mdi-timer 11th August 2017 @ 8:56 am 11th Aug 2017 @ 8:56 am mdi-comment Comments
BBC’s Softball Brexit Questions Prove Robbo’s Point


Nick Robinson’s comment in the Radio Times that “the referendum is over. The duty we broadcasters had to ‘broadly balance’ the views of the two sides is at an end” revealed much about the Today programme’s attitude to covering Brexit. Take a look at Mishal Husain’s line of questioning during her interview with Sadiq Khan this morning. This was her cringingly deferential first question:

“You’ve talked at length about how concerned you are to protect London as a global financial centre after Brexit. How much assurance have you been given, and what could the government say that might stop jobs moving out of London in a way that we’re already seeing, from banks, from people like Goldman Sachs,  Lloyd’s of London is opening up a Brussels office. The movement is already happening.”

Completely softball, no scrutiny of Khan’s position, simply inviting him to speak without challenge. Husain also repeats the Remain spin about Lloyd’s (who actually say London will remain their major financial sector). Her final statement that “the movement is already happening” is overt Remain topspin to the point of being untrue.

Husain’s next question simply invited Khan to explain his new “flexible immigration” policy, again with no scrutiny. The job of interviewers is to probe, scrutinise and hold politicians to account, not repeat their spin and invite them to talk about how brilliant they are…

mdi-timer 4th April 2017 @ 11:39 am 4th Apr 2017 @ 11:39 am mdi-comment Comments
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