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House

A member since 13 March 2007


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House

BBC News: Presenters, correspondent & rotas

A reminder of why 5 Live continues to be a complete and utter no-go zone. At that time tomoz, Matt Frei on LBC will be offering the sort of intelligent chat 5 Live used to have.


I'd have to disagree with you there, with respect. Five Live on weekends is a different beast, certainly – it feels a lot lighter and more entertainment-slanted at weekends with people like Scott Mills and Laura Whitmore hosting regular shows, and far more sports content. But the weekday schedule is actually strong – Emma Barnett is one of the strongest voices on radio today journalistically (regularly with some very strong interviews), Nihal Arthanayake's programme frequently explores quite significant social issues which aren't necessarily discussed at length elsewhere, the old Pienaar Politics slot (assuming it returns – it was being hosted by Katya Alder before lockdown) offers one of the better political discussions of the week, and while Breakfast and Drive aren't trying to be Today and PM, they both offer hard news and some good interviews. Using their weekend shows to write off the entire station is akin to dismissing BBC 1 or BBC 2 because the same channels that broadcast Panorama and Newsnight also air Mrs Brown's Boys, The One Show and Mock The Week.

LBC, on the other hand, makes strong additions to its lineup and then regularly undermines itself by hiring a cretin, or someone there only for the name recognition and political capital rather than broadcasting experience. Yes, Matt Frei presents on Saturday mornings, but until recently Nigel Farage held the same slot on a Sunday (on top of the 4 hours he was given on weekdays). Some of the other presenters they've had over the years, like Andrew Castle, Nick Abott, Ian Payne, Beverley Turner or Lucy Beresford wouldn't look out of place in a Five Live weekend lineup at all.


AlexS posted:
House posted:
Sorry if I’ve missed this discussed somewhere already, but Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Channel 4 News was co-presenting Five Live Breakfast all this week with Rachel Burden, which seemed an odd choice to me. I know Channel 4 News presenters are often allowed to host radio shows (Matt Frei and Cathy Newman each have a weekly show on LBC and Times Radio, respectively), but I found it surprising the BBC would go to an outside broadcaster to cover a week of a radio programme at a time when colleagues across the institution are being told they face redundancy, and presenters are staff will be expected to cross over platforms and channels more frequently. Is there context to this I’m missing, or does it seem rather peculiar to others too?


That’s quite unusual. And, as you say, quite odd given the situation with job losses and cuts at the BBC. To bring in a current presenter from ITN to fill a BBC slot for a week is rather questionable. Not that I’ve got anything against KGM at all. Just feels odd.

A bit like Anna Ford presenting the ITN Evening News one evening the whilst she was actually a presenter of the BBC Six O’clock News at the time. (Ok, granted, it was a special one-off appearance to celebrate ITN’s 50th Anniversary).

I suspect they are having issues with getting BBC personal to agree to present from Salford for a week as whenever Chris Warburton isn't available male 5 live presenters are always covered by freelancers.


Freelance or not (and they use a lot of female freelancers too – Helen Skelton, Michelle Ackerley, quite possibly Chloe Tilsley and Clare McDonnell too), they do have a pool of men they turn to including Colin Paterson, Geoff Lloydd, Colin Murray and Johnny I'Anson. And even if a broadcaster was needed in Salford, there's no reason London-based Krishnan Guru-Murthy would be the logical choice over every other male presenter and correspondent in the organisation.

If I was to be a sceptic, I'd point out that aside from Nihal and Dotun Adebayo (on overnights), Five Live's schedule is overwhelmingly white. Well balanced in terms of gender and region, but not racially. Using people like Krishnan and Naga Munchetty (who filled in for Emma Barnett for three days this month) immediately (if temporarily) helps resolve that.

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House

BBC Breakfast - 16th July onwards

If you actually read the law, it doesn’t concern ‘essential travel’, and the distinction here would be quite relevant. You are not permitted to ‘leave the place you reside’ without ‘reasonable excuse’, which includes travelling to work to do a job you cannot reasonably do from home. As Health Secretary, there’s no doubt he’s more effective in an office with his team than working remotely, and the effectiveness of our public servants is rather important right now.

Appearing on live TV for scrutiny purposes is part of his job. It’s unlikely he left his home purely to do a broadcast interview, and there is zero chance he has actually gone against the legal requirements.

Interviewing him to a good technical quality and resilience is important, and sending BBC technicians to his home or office to ensure a remote link is sufficient (for a one-off interview) wouldn’t be any better than having him go into NBH.