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Justin Webb on his first Today appearance

Thursday 27 August 2009, 14:47

Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick Head of Interactive, Radio 3

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Justin Webb, until recently the BBC's North America Editor, arrived in the Today studio this morning for his first appearance as a permanent presenter of the programme (he's filled in once or twice in the past). We asked Chris Vallance to talk to Justin - exclusively for the Radio 4 blog - about his first appearance and about the benefits of working with John Humphrys.

Chris started by asking how it had gone:

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    Comment number 1.

    Does this mean that 'Ed Stourton has left the building' or will he be around until the new boy has found his feet ? When will Ed's 'swansong' be ? Or is he just working 'flexibly' as a roving reporter ? We don't just want him to disappear quietly. Even if he does make a bit of a 'fuss about nothing' over the odd split infinitive *

    * Declaration of interest. John Humphrys is just as much of a pedant, but he is Welsh and Working Class, therefore in a totally unjustifiable display of partiality, I let him get away with it....

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    John Humphrys, who's he?.......

    I must say that it was pleasant to wake up and hear the measured (and might I say, mellow) tones of Justin Webb this morning. Whilst I accept that interview techniques have changed markedly since the late - and sorely missed - Brian Redhead's day I'm sorry to say that I find that my brain just filters out much of Mr Humphrys (lets say) assertive approach to interviewing, now only listening to the attempted replies from his 'victim'...err, sorry Guest. That is not to say I would welcome a return to the "Welcome Minister, is their anything you would like to say to the BBC audience" production style either of old, just the ability for the interviewee to get more than one sentence out before being interrupted! Or at least that is how Mr Humphrys comes across even if it's not the literal true of what happens. If the anchor/interviewer is being 'hurried up' by their editor or producer then perhaps someone is attempting to pack to much into the running order?

    There again, perhaps I just prefer a more lazy, relaxed, style - especially in the morning. For me, Mr Humphrys would make a good anchor/presenter of either Panorama or Newsnight.

    Sorry... :-0

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    Comment number 3.

    Miss Winifred Robinson didn’t receive any publicity when she joined the Today programme. She did, however, receive very favourable reviews from both listeners and radio critics – including Mr. Paul Donovan. Alas, she wasn’t southern posh or Oxbridge…….so that was the end of her career on the Today programme.

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    Comment number 4.

    Welcome Mr.Webb, hang on in Mr.Ed, please release Mr.Davis!

  • Comment number 5.

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

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    Comment number 6.


    Thanks, for writing this excellent blog about Justin Webb
    and his first day at Today Programme on Radio 4.....

    =Dennis Junior=

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    #4. At 08:41am on 28 Aug 2009, gabylein wrote:

    "Welcome Mr.Webb, hang on in Mr.Ed, please release Mr.Davis!"

    Why, apart from reports from a certain Mr Peston and his contributions, Mr Davis is the only "Today" presenter who seems to know the difference be World Economics and Home Economics!... :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    2. At 5:12pm on 27 Aug 2009, you wrote:

    "John Humphrys, who's he?......."

    I want to retract some of my criticism of Mr Humphrys, after today's comments about Twitter (and, in my opinion, those who waste so much of their lives being 'twits'), he has gone up in my estimation - slightly...

    Still prefer the mellow tones of Mr Webb first thing in the morning though!


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Find out about this year's panel and theme