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Double Take

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Hasit Shah | 06:00 UK time, Saturday, 16 July 2011

On Sunday, 5 live launches a new programme, Double Take, which will be on air every week from 09.30 to 11.00. Here's a bit more about the show, in the words of some of the main people behind it.

Steve Mawhinney, 5 live Head of News:

Sunday mornings provide a special moment in the week. The chance to pause and try to make sense of what's happened in the preceding seven days and the chance to peer forward to see what's likely to emerge in the week ahead. Double Take aims to seize this special moment to do just that.

It will grapple with the big stories that have dominated the news agenda and got the nation talking and aim to shed new light with eye-witness reporting and illuminating interviews. There is always more than one way to look at any story, and stories often feel very different depending on where you are, how it impacts upon you and what experience you bring to it.

Double Take wants to explore all those perspectives and as always, we are keen that you jump in alongside us to share your insight and experience.

The programme will also start to shape the news that is to come, so that our listeners are well armed for the week ahead. In that way we hope Double Take will become a must listen for Sunday mornings on 5 live.

Sam Walker, presenter:

Every week we'll give you the chance to take another look at some of the biggest stories of the week and with the idea that two heads are better than one, try and take a different perspective and get the alternative view, from politics to popular culture, with a healthy injection of humour and personality.

We'll also have an eye on a couple of the stories that we think are going to be big news in the coming week and give you a head start on tomorrow's news.

I grew up in the Midlands, then spent ten years in London before hitting the north in the early noughties, where I now live in and love Manchester. My particular passion is for music, popular culture and the human stories behind the news.

Anita Anand, presenter

Well now - this is a weird feeling - same studio, same station, a totally new friend to play with, and a totally new show to do it in.

I'm so excited about Double Take. What an enormously interesting time to be taking that sideways glance at some of the most eyewatering stories I have ever come across in my career.

We are going to have fun on this show and hopefully lift the covers on some of the issues others just skirt over (goodness me, that's a lot of laundry metaphors - maybe I need to put a wash on...)

I met Sam Walker last week for the first time, and let me tell you, you are in for a treat - she's fiesty and fun and very well informed. I think this may be the start of a beautiful friendship.

You can follow Anita Anand and Sam Walker on Twitter.


  • Comment number 1.

    It sounds an interesting format but why oh why Anita Anand? She has a horrible presenting style. There surely must have been someone better.

  • Comment number 2.

    Agree. Anand's sarcasm and attempts at humour grate after a few seconds.

    And haven't we seen this idea - in slightly different formats - almost every week? News, quips, looking-back, forward, sideways, upside down....

  • Comment number 3.

    I have to agree with the Machine in Post 2, during the Week you already take a look at News Stories from different angles,surely there is a limit of how many angles you can exhaust, take the News International Story, this has been covered in depth during week, how can you possibly have a different perspective of it just because it is a Sunday?

  • Comment number 4.

    I think Laura Kuennsberg was going to do this programme until she sought pastures new. Anita thinks she is a politics guru but her lecturing tone and often her rather dominating style is a put off. Fedster and Machine are correct. There is something called overkill. News is either picked over to death by "experts" or trivialised by "comedians" on a Sunday morning.

  • Comment number 5.

    Well, let me disagree with these posters who have condemned the programme Double Take before it has even started.

    Some of the posters invariably complain, but I thought that Fedster was one person who had positive views about 5 live.

    Yes, this programme seems to be a replacement for one which included Laura Kuennsberg. However, this programme looks as if it will be better.

    Here is why. There is a problem with putting in a presenter who is unfamiliar with the station. Laura Kuennsberg is such a presenter, so was Kate Silverton. So was John Sopel. What you can do is put the new presenter in as co-presenter with someone who is familiar with the station. Someone such as Aasmah Mir. John Sopel was OK after the first day. You can also introduce a new presenter on an evening show to gain experience of the station. Tony Livesey is a good example.

    In the original programme envisaged with Laura Kuennsberg, you were going to have two new presenters without 5 live experience. Now with Anita Anand as co-presenter, this problem has been fixed. Anita Anand knows 5live.

    However, there is a problem making a Sunday news programme interesting. It has been tried before. This a where the other presenter Sam Walker comes in. She seems to be a successful radio DJ, or presenter of modern music programmes. Perhaps the idea is to make your politics swing on Sunday mornings.

    Good luck!

  • Comment number 6.

    Carrie i dont actually mind the same news stories being discussed everyday, not everyone has the time and listen to long periods of Radio during the Weekdays, i dont thats for sure, so a chance to hear it on a Sunday is welcoming, with i do object to is this notion that this new show will be able to look at the News from a different perspective, however i bet all they will do is replicate a format that was used during
    week, but this time with different personnel.

    I dont see much difference between this new show and The back-end of next week, as the Great Politician of our time,George Galloway Tweeted:

    "The back-end of next week" must be the radio arse of all time. Puerile beyond belief

  • Comment number 7.

    It is contrived. What can we possibly do now that we have tried everything else sort of programme. I actually think Tim Samuels' programme would have been a great addition to a Sunday morning. I hardly think Laura, Kate and Jon are so inexperienced that they would be unfamiliar with anywhere. (Jon didn't live in Chile but he was FANTASTIC at the mine rescue.) I know for a fact Laura would have been a great addition to a Sunday morning had she not resigned. And Kate's Sunday morning programme was very entertaining. Sadly it is going to be politics lectures interspersed with music. 5 Live is not a music station and it is out of place, just look at how dire that slot is on Vicky's programme on Mondays.

  • Comment number 8.

    Coreze yes i generally post postive stuff regarding 5live, and yes i refuse to jump on the Bandwagon, which the rest of the anti 5live posters are riding on, but i wont shy away posting negative stuff in an objective manner, however all in all, 5live is a fantastic station, with excpetional Presenters and Shows.

  • Comment number 9.


    Sorry I didn't see that post Fedster. I agree with you. If only it could be a new take on anything, but it just can't be because the important stories are done to death and the unimportant ones are just that. If it was Adil Ray yes, he is fantastic but he needs his own programme of magazine type subjects and he will flourish on the station.

  • Comment number 10.

    This is an interesting blog post.

    "It will grapple with the big stories that have dominated the news agenda and got the nation talking and aim to shed new light with eye-witness reporting and illuminating interviews"

    But then we have this "try and take a different perspective and get the alternative view, from politics to popular culture, with a healthy injection of humour and personality."


    "We are going to have fun on this show and hopefully lift the covers on some of the issues others just skirt over"

    Either this is a serious news programme with "illuminating interviews" or it is a comedy hour. Which is it? 5Live Investigates was an excellent programme which did the former, but I fear this is just going to be another hour with people much less funny then they think they are with the trival "news" interviews and idle banter dressed up as news to count towards your news quota.

    I really do hope the 5Live review which closed this week comes down very hard on this type for lightweight fluff that seems to pass as news programming these days. It isn't.

  • Comment number 11.

    This hastily arranged marriage certainly proved Sam Walker wrong, with "Two heads being better than one."

    This was speculative, scripted questions that covered no new ground. Up next, at eleven, another attempt to find a mature, informative news programme.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Well, now we have heard the programme we can give a considered opinion on it.

    I would like to address Fedster in particular who is a 5 live listener who does like the station.

    It does seem that your misgivings about the programme were in many ways justified, Fedster. However, where does the programme go wrong and what can be done to fix it?

    There was a programme some years ago on 5 live called Sunday Service presented by Fi Glover. This programme had a good approach. A presenter, say Fi Glover, or anyone else, is the contact with the listeners. In some ways they sell the programme to the listener, and they take on board the comments of the listeners.

    Now politics is a hard subject to sell particularly to younger people, because it's all about the doings of middle-aged people. It is a difficult subject to sell to 5 live listeners. It is also mainly about men, because there are relatively few female politicians. You have to ask yourself why would two young women such as Anita Anand and Sam Walker be interested in such a subject?

    The answer is probably because they are paid to do this. Why are they paid to do it? The answer is probably because the makers of such programmes, and not just on 5 live, want to make their programmes more acceptable to the wider public. Who is interested in a subject which deals with a world of middle-aged men and old fashioned Parliamentary procedures?

    However, let's get back to Fi Glover who had the right technique, in my opinion. See what you think. In her programme Sunday Service she was accompanied by two regular guests Andrew Pierce and Charlie Whelan who both lived and drank politics. However Fi Glover was the presenter. She was the contact with the listener. She was not particularly interested in politics. She remained sceptical. If you think of Alice in Wonderland surrounded by a grotesque and unbelievable world, which sometimes made you want to laugh, then you have Fi Glover. However Fi Glover did keep the programme moving along briskly on to new subjects.

    There you have it. Fi Glover was good because she resembled the listeners. The listeners typically are not passionately interested in politics. I would suggest that the new programme Double Take could be more sceptical. Anita Anand could do it.

  • Comment number 14.

    Anita Anand is a politics 'expert' as she has done the tv Politics Show for a long time. Her presenting style grates but she knows what she is on about. Fi Glover is gone.

    Anna Foster is an enormous hit for me. She is bright, intelligent, engaging and knowledgeable about news and sport without showing obssessive interest in any particular sport. What is more when speaking to a guest she starts with "good morning" instead of Rachel's "hi" which is unprofessional. Use her elsewhere please, please, please. And Adil.

  • Comment number 15.

    Carrie, I have copied your spelling of Laura Kuenssberg. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, it is as above, one n and a double s.

    What is the requirement to be a 5 live presenter? It should be accessibility. You should be the sort of person that listeners would send texts to etc. Five Live is not like BBC TV. That is why I say a new presenter should get used to 5 live.

    Jon Sopel quickly got accustomed to 5 live.

    Personally, one thing that I don't think is suited to 5 live is when presenter hides their date of birth. John Pienaar does it. Laura Kuenssberg does it and so does Sam Walker. I was born in 1948, so what?

    For me 5 live is not about hiring stars. It is a continuous news and sports station in which the listeners' input is an important part.

    To be an accessible presenter, perhaps you do say 'hi'. I certainly do in everyday live.

    I think that Peter Allen says 'hi', does n't he

  • Comment number 16.

    He does and it doesn't work for him either. People being interviewed should have some respect shown to them and not, as is often the case with Rachel's voice, mishear so she has to say it again. You will note that anyone who hears the greeting "good morning" has a proper start to the interview. Rachel's "hi" is lost in a downward croaky note.

    You mention Laura and Jon Sopel, and Pienaar. These are all incredibly bright and articulate people, knowledgeable in their fields and at home with broadcasting on tv or radio. They have been around for a long time, perhaps not so long in Laura's case, but Pienaar has been the man for years. He could hold up, and did, a political programme on his own and it would be fascinating. However he does have a life off the air. Why do you say they hide their ages? As you say, what has that to do with anything?

    Anyway Anna Foster and Adil Ray are now firmly on the station doing lots of stuff and I hope they will feature more and more and replace some of the others in time.

    And good luck to Laura as she starts a new career.

  • Comment number 17.

    I happen to think, Carrie, that you often post on this board, but that you listen to the wrong radio station. This station does not correspond to your tastes.

    Perhaps it is TV that you like. I cannot comment on that, because I don't usually watch it. There is a certain tone to a station such as 5 live and it is not your tone. A person transferring to a another station has to adapt their tone. TV stations do not have the important listener input that is essential to 5 live. 5 live is closer to,more intimate with the listeners than BBC TV.

    As for hiding your age, obviously here, a special effort has made to do this, and this is odd in the context of a station like 5 live, where there is a closer relation to the listener. That is why I point it out. Maybe on other stations, more of the star-based stations which perhaps you prefer, it would not be odd. As for saying 'hi', that is 5 live. It is obviously not your style.

    As for stars, I cannot see how Laura Koonssberg, who you like, has been appointed Business Editor, at ITV. She must be a TV star, because she has just about zero background in business. If you want to see an impressive background for a business editor, look at Robert Peston's or that of his predecessor at the BBC, Jeff Randall.

    It is not about star personalities who you like or dislike. It seems to me that you have your likes and dislikes. I have nothing against Laura Kuenssberg, but she seems to be unqualified for a job as Business Editor. Politics on TV seems to be her background.

    As I have said, 5 live is not a station where you have star personalities. The station is the star, the news the sport, and the input of the listeners. For example, I have heard that when Radio One star Simon Mayo arrived at 5 live it took him some time to adapt. Possibly this was the same with Nicky Campbell. However Nicky, unlike Simon, did work with a co-presenter, for a time, which helps a new presenter to find their 5 live style. Of course, when Nicky does other programmes on TV he has another style.

    I have tried to explain a little that 5 live has its own style, not based on personalities and favourite stars. Judging by your numerous posts, it is clearly not your style.

  • Comment number 18.

    Post 17, brillant Post Coreze, we need more posters like you on here, and hopefully by that happening we will have a classier blog.

  • Comment number 19.

    This blog is about Double Take and I will get on to that in the next paragraph. I am 21, 83 or 50, it is irrelevant. What is wrong in hoping that in non-magazine programmes, which seem exclusively gossip/celeb, which I do not listen to, that when interviewers interview that they do not come across as a mate of the guest? (Gosh by the way, you spelt Laura's name wrong, you picked me up on it so try to get it right.)

    What are these star-based stations I seem to prefer? As usual, what are you going on about coreze, and what has this to do with Double Take? I simply pointed out in an earlier post on this blog that news is getting over-analysed on 5 Live and that also if AV-K needed a political replacement for Laura, Anita was the right person with her background, although you seem to suggest she is doing the job because she is paid to do it and not for her expertise.

  • Comment number 20.

    I meant to write "not the ones which seem exclusively gossip/celeb" so apologies for failing to read before posting.

  • Comment number 21.

    Let me just come back on this. I am trying to put anyone down. I have not mentioned your age, Carrie. Let me just go once again on the question of age. 5 live listeners may be interested in sports programmes more easily because sportsmen and women are young. Politicians are not so young. That is one difficulty in presenting a 5 live politics programme. The three people that I named who go out of their way to conceal their age are all involved in presenting politics. Do they want to seem older than they are, or younger? John Pienaar, Laura Kuenssberg and Sam Walker of Double Take are the three people. They would be odd people out in terms of 5 live presenters, in that respect.

    A young person's view of politics, I would suggest is one of scepticism. They don't think it is for them. They would be interested in reform. Already, a relatively younger Speaker in the Commons, John Bercow, is changing some of the traditions, I would say that Anita Anand is young, and would not have the same outlook as her main co- presenter of the Daily Politics, on BBC 2, is n't it? Therefore we have the chance of a fresh look with Anita's new show Double Take, on 5 live.

    I would suggest that it is a good idea when presenting such a show, not to seem too knowledgeable, too intensely interested in everything to do with politics. Play it cool. Don't drown the listeners with your own knowledge. I would personally switch Andrew Neil off pretty quickly, because he so full of himself. Andrew Neil, of course is the middle-aged main co- presenter of the Daily Politics programme on BBC 2, mentioned above, where Anita Anand can rarely get a word in. Actually Andrew Neil is slightly younger than me.

    So you have a programme Anita, it's yours, and your listeners'.

    The other thing is about stars, star presenters. If you have the sport on 5 live, you don't usually worry who is presenting it. It is the sport that counts. I cannot say that, in the numerous complaints about 5 live that you have made in your posts, Carrie, that you have picked on sports presenters. What counts is the substance not the star presenters. That is what the news programmes are like on 5 live too. That is how 5 live is different from personality presenter-based stations.

    Other stations do hire star personality presenters. Radio 2, Radio 4, BBC TV.etc. Is there a station besides 5 live that is not based on star presenter personalities?

    I have mentioned France Info- the French equivalent of 5 live. I would not underestimate 5 live however. If you want a more free and easy atmosphere, 5 live is for you. I like that. If you want a more formal approach, you will prefer France Info. In my case an advantage of France Info is that it does n't have so much sport, as 5 live. Obviously I can change stations when I like, There are many other stations to listen to. However on the question of star presenters, France Info is just like 5 live. In other words, it is the substance that counts, not the star presenter.

    There is an interview with the Controller of France Info recently on www.ozap.com. Go to the radio section, and you 'll find for example, that it is mentioned in the interview that one of the main morning presenters at France Info left the station and that it did n't affect the audience at all.

    In other words, what counts is the substance, the news, the sport, the station, not the star personalities.

    That is not to say that any fool can present on 5 live. Far from it. They need to learn about the station, and how things are done. For this reason you cannot pick some big name from another station, plonk them on 5 live and expect things to go well. It may be that a programme such as the Back End of Next Week,and other programmes are filled by outsiders. In other words, if a breaking news story arose when they were on air, they would have to call for assistance because they are not 5 live-trained. However, Anita Anand is not like that. She knows 5 live. Good luck, Anita, with your new programme.

  • Comment number 22.

    presume, when you feel like moderators - all the gushing comments are on message

  • Comment number 23.

    coreze you are obssessed with age. I only mentioned mine because age is irrelevant.

    The fact is, on any station, on any broadcast journalism outlet, you need people who know what they are doing. Phil Williams is about 30, ditto Adil Ray and Anna Foster. They are knowledgeable, quick witted and can hold a programme together whatever the subjects. They know what they are doing. Have to be 5Live trained? You don't know anything about broadcast journalism coreze, clearly.

    Anita is, or was, don't watch often, on the Politics programme to read out the emails and feed back the developing online views of those watching. Andrew Neil is the main presenter because he knows what he is talking about going way back.

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    Coreze ... and never use one word when fifty will do!

  • Comment number 26.

    Take your own advice coreze. Personally I am interested to read feedback from listeners about Double Take, not constant invective from you.

    Anna Foster is doing a great job with Peter on Drive.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    It is possible that people such as Carrie have detected a line of thought here, but it is possible that they have n't. For that second possibility that they have n't, here is the line. You may find it controversial.

    5 live is a news and sport station. There are some programmes in the schedule which should n't be there, in their present format. These are entertainment shows, presented by entertainers. Fighting Talk, the Back End of Next Week, Jon Holmes Mob Rule.

    It is possible to bring in arts and entertainment matters into a normal news and sport programme. For example, there was the Book Club on Simon Mayo's programme. There is the Music Review on Victoria Derbyshire's programme. It is possible to bring in entertainment and entertainers into a normal news and sport programme.

    However, what you do not do, or should n't do is to let entertainers present programmes on a news and sport station. Why not? Suppose there is a breaking news story. That is what 5 live is for, to cover that. Suppose you have an important news story, and you have on the air a comedy and light entertainment show. You really are shown up then. Furthermore you may be in trouble with the BBC Trust for not meeting the responsibilities of the station. It is also confusing for the listener.

    However, this can be dealt by putting so-called arts and entertainment items in a normal 5 live news and sport programme.

    To take an example, you could make the new programme Double Take a two hour programme instead of one hour. It would incorporate sketches and items from Nick Hancock's programme the Back End of Next Week, which would cease to exist.

    I would guess that Nick Hancock and his team would like that suggestion. at present they have the task of being funny for one hour on a station which supposed to be a continuous news and sport service. That sounds like one hour's hard work. However, put them within a serious programme such as Double Take, and Nick and his team find that they have something to rebel against, something to stimulate them. Producing comedy would be so much easier for them.

    However responsibility for presenting the programme would rest with Anita Anand and Sam Walker. It would be a serious programme with serious news items, plus sketches and contributions from Nick Hancock and his team.

    I am not sure if Anita Anand would be keen on it though. However she should remember that she has the final say. If Nick and his team get out of hand, she will cut them off, because she is responsible for the presentation. I still don't think that she would be keen on it. You never know.

  • Comment number 30.

    I am on the verge of agreeing with coreze. However Anita would do such a hybrid programme very well, it is the other presenter who would not fit the bill.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    Hasit please explain why post 28 and 31 were removed.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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