Thursday, September 19, 2019

John Humphrys hosts his final edition of Radio 4 Today programme BBC News

John Humphrys hosts his final edition of Radio 4 Today programme

Broadcaster John Humphrys is presenting his final edition of BBC Radio 4's Today program me.

His departure brings to a close his 32 years on the flagship show, during which time he built a reputation as a tenacious interrogator of politicians.

Thursday's program me will feature interviews with former prime ministers David Cameron and Tony Blair.
BBC director general Lord Hall said public figures would breathe "a sigh of relief" at Humphrys' departure.

Cameron to Dame Edna - how Humphrys' final Today unfolded
What's it like to face Today's John Humphrys?
Describing him as "a journalistic great", the director general wrote in The Daily Telegraph: "He is driven by a profound sense of justice and a deep distrust of authority. It means that he has always, unerringly, represented the listener and championed their right to know."

Humphrys has interviewed every prime minister on the programme from Margaret Thatcher to Theresa May, but has not grilled Boris Johnson since he came to power.
Today editor Sarah Sands joked that Mr Cameron, who is likely to be questioned about his decision to call the 2016 Brexit referendum, said he was coming on Thursday's programme "to make sure he got the old bugger out of the building".

Mr Blair will take part in a discussion about political interviewing, and Today presenters past and present will pay tribute.

Before joining Today in 1987, Humphrys worked as a BBC foreign correspondent in both the US and Africa, as a diplomatic correspondent and as a presenter of the Nine O'Clock News.

When he announced his departure in February, Humphrys said: "I love doing the programme. I have always enjoyed it. That's the problem. I should have gone years ago. Obviously I should have gone years ago."

Speaking on Desert Island Discs in 2008, Humphrys said he did not think most politicians deliberately told lies on the programme.
But Humphrys got support from other ministers and the Daily Mail, which called him "one of the most brilliant journalists in the country". The next time Mr Clarke appeared on Today, Humphrys gave him a calculator to count how many times he was interrupted.

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