Thursday 19 September 2019

John Humphrys signs off

Plenty of plaudits for Humph this morning during his farewell appearance on the Toady. 
A big article by Giles Fraser on Unherd, too. Who will miss John Humphrys? 

The Today Programme seems to be getting less and less listenable under Sarah Sands’s headmistress- ship. "She introduced the puzzle", someone announced, as if that was a good thing.

He sounds ok, but when you see him Humphrys has the pallor of a man who’s been living underground for years. For his sake, now that he can have a lie-in and a bit of a relax, I advise him to get some fresh air (for the vitamin D) 

Bye John, and good luck. 


  1. Yes, good luck to him.

    Who will FBPEs and Corbynites have to hate in the morning now? (I'm sure they'll find someone).

    His former boss, Roger Mosey, writing in The New Statesman, has an interesting take on what should happen next at 'Today':

    "Too often, the Today programme's default setting is to listen to the metropolitan chattering classes. One of the sad things about the cuts imposed on Today is that it lost most of its own reporters – making it more difficult to get outside of London. As a former editor, it was a joy sending the likes of Sarah Cullen, Bill Turnbull, Winifred Robinson and Michael Gove (yes, that Michael Gove) across the country to produce original journalism.

    "The programme showcased the voices of the UK in each episode; if you were fed up with Michael Heseltine banging on, then you knew there would be a change of mood very soon. Today, producers are under greater pressure to fill the programme with fewer resources – leading to a string of live interviews, without any of the “light and shade” that I was always taught was the essence of Today."

    As for those "cuts imposed on Today", he adds:

    "Modernising the programme to better reflect the UK would mean spending more money. We should ignore any corporate bleating about straitened times; the BBC has a turnover of £5bn a year, and if it can afford to promote the Gemma Collins podcast extensively on television, it should definitely be able to invest in one of its most important flagship news shows."

  2. From Matthew Moore in The Times:

    "Unleashed from the restrictions of BBC impartiality guidelines, he is likely to become even more outspoken. BBC executives are braced for the imminent publication of his memoir, A Day Like Today, which will be serialised by a national newspaper. Humphrys is expected to be strongly critical of some of the corporation’s recent leaders; a blurb released by the publishers says that he “pulls no punches” and “weighs in on the role the BBC itself has played in our national life — for good and ill”".

  3. Humphries always struck me as a very superficial man with a superficial understanding of politics, culture and history.

    On the 6pm Radio 4 news he was lauded for striking "fear" into that really what the BBC looks for in its interviewers? They referred to him having won the scalp of George Entwhistle...who he you might ask. Big deal. Does the BBC want politicians to strike fear into interviewers in response, as Momentum would like? If not, why does it think it's OK the other way round. Are they surprised that Today is effectively being boycotted by both Labour and the Conservatives.

    Surely it would be better if politicians respected interviewers for their intelligence and understanding of complex issues.

  4. I listen to Nick F on LBC these days - much better even with the adverts.


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