John Humphrys on 60 plus years in journalism
John Humphrys is one of Britain’s best known and most controversial broadcasters. He has been a journalist for more than 60 years. He was BBC TV’s youngest foreign correspondent and has anchored most frontline news and current affairs programmes on both television and radio. He has long been best known as one of the leading presenters on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
When he appears at the Winchester Festival on Saturday in An Audience with John Humphrys you can expect some great tales and a little bit of an insight into what makes him tick.
He has won just about all the national broadcasting awards … including the “Oscar of Oscars”: the Sony Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement. The citation read: “He has truly changed the face of radio and the nature of the radio interview for an entire generation.”
He is frequently referred to by newspapers as a “national treasure” - which he loathes because he says it makes him feel a bit like one of Queen Victoria’s commodes!
But he has also achieved something else. He has become a hate figure in his time for BOTH major political parties. There have been rows about his seemingly astronomical salary and he’s currently at the centre of the medias analysis of whether with falling listener figures the Today programme is in crisis.
There are those who see him as too old and say it’s time for retirement but many more who see him as ultimately vital to the survival and ongoing success of the programme.
Apart from his broadcasting work John writes books and newspaper columns and has set up his own charity: the Kitchen Table Charities Trust. He also presents that rare programme: a serious television quiz show, Mastermind.
*An Audience with John Humphrys is at The Winchester Festival on
Saturday 7th July. More info at www.winchesterfestival.co.uk