You may recall that, in the early days of this blog (November 2012), I tallied up the number of appearances made by all the guests who have appeared on Gavin Esler's globally-transmitted Dateline London [BBC News Channel here in the UK, BBC World everywhere else].
I'd kept a list of every panel from 8 June 2009 to 29 May 2010, and then from 30 October 2010 right through to 10 November 2012 and, through the magic of simple addition, found that the guest who had appeared most on the show throughout that period with 40 appearances (compared to his nearest rival, Die Welt's Thomas Kielinger who had made 29 appearances on the programme) was left-wing Palestinian editor Abdel Bari Atwan - a man with a long history of extremist statements [especially against Israel].
The top of the charts in November 2012 looked like this:
Abdel Bari Atwan 40Thomas Kielinger 29Michael Goldfarb - 28Mustapha Karkouti - 26Stryker McGuire - 24Marc Roche - 23Polly Toynbee - 20Janet Daley - 20
It seemed to both me and Sue that by making Atwan 'top of the Dateline pops', Dateline was rather showing its hand. And it wasn't a pleasant hand.
Well, I've continued keeping meticulous records of every guest who's appeared on the show, and the top of the charts now looks like this:
Abdel Bari Atwan - 54
Thomas Kielinger - 44
Michael Goldfarb - 39
Mustapha Karkouti - 38
Marc Roche - 36
Stryker McGuire - 29
Janet Daley - 30
Polly Toynbee - 28
Little change then, especially at the top and, yes, Abdel Bari Atwan is still Dateline London's most-invited guest...
...which calls for a 'WTF!' and a 'FFS!'
P.S. If you were wondering - on the strength [if 'strength' is the right word] of her appearance on today's edition - where that bundle of joy and reasonableness, Yasmin Alibhai Brown, stands in relation to this chart, well, she's got 20 appearances to her name to date.