Tuesday 27 December 2016


Yesterday's Today had a few festive sections.

We heard a selection of famous voices naming the people who have inspired them most. Three of the Today presenters contributed to this bit. Nick Robinson named his German Jewish grandparents who had escaped from Nazi Germany. Sarah Montague named a pansexual French singer who "made her think differently". Mishal Husain named a Bataclan survivor who refuses to hate the Muslim terrorists who killed his wife. She admires "the example he set by his attitude". 

We also had four senior BBC editors talking about their stand-out moments of the past year. Most involved what Mark Easton called "the Brexit thing", with Mark Easton choosing seeing Theresa May on the day she became PM and assuming she was still home secretary. The "only thing" that "kept" him "sane" this year was Ed Balls on Strictly, he added. Kamal Ahmed recalled the concern of the markets on EU referendum night and "that amazing graph of the fall in sterling" though his main memory was seeing Mark Carney that morning and recalling the tinsel tattoo on the bank governor's eye at a festival "because he's rather a cool dude".  Simon Jack recalled Sir Philip Green doing a 'Taxi Driver' impression during that parliamentary session and "the king of retail's crown finally slipped". And Laura Kuenssberg - as you'll doubtless already know - chose being told and not feeling able to report that the Queen favoured Brexit. ["You behaved as a responsible political editor", John Humphrys told her.]

Those four editors were all there to show off their knowledge in a Celebrity Mastermind special with John Humphrys, which Laura K won all hands down. 

Kamal Ahmed was this year's David Lammy, getting only two answers right and failing to get Mark Carney's school nickname {either Carnival or Carnage}, how Philip Hammond like to dress at school {as a goth}, the oldest central bank in the world {Sweden}, any three of the new items added to CPI shopping basket {"Quite remarkably you've picked three things that were not in that very long list!", said John H}, the most deprived town in England according to the ONS {Oldham}, and the lowest level that a barrel of Brent oil fell to this year {$27.67}.

I did laugh at this question to Mark Easton: 
John Humphrys: You wrote a blog called 'David Bowie: the creative voice who changed Britain'. How much of Bowie's fortune did he leave to charity in his will?
Mark Easton: All of it?
John Humphrys. None of it.

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