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24 September 2014
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Justin Webb

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Justin Webb to join Radio 4's Today programme presenting team

Justin Webb, BBC's North America Editor, is to join BBC Radio 4's flagship current affairs programme Today as a presenter from next October.


Justin joins the Today programme from Washington where most recently he led the BBC's coverage of the US Election and its aftermath, reporting for radio, television and online.


He has been an occasional presenter on the Today programme in the past, as well as having presented Broadcasting House.


Justin said: "I am delighted to be joining the Today programme. It has been a part of my BBC life for many years and more importantly it's a part of British life.


"It's an honour to have the chance to join the team. There isn't a more challenging job, or a more satisfying job, in British broadcasting."


Editor of the Today programme, Ceri Thomas, said: "Justin has always excelled on radio and has become a truly formidable North America Editor for the BBC. The chance to bring his foreign affairs expertise home to the programme was too good to miss."


Mark Damazer, Controller, Radio 4, said: "Justin has been an outstanding voice on Radio 4 news and current affairs output for several years. His work in the United States has been one of the joys of the network and I look forward to his arrival on Today."


Justin will present the programme for a year on rotation alongside current regulars John Humphrys, Sarah Montague, James Naughtie and Evan Davis.


Ed Stourton will be leaving to concentrate on other BBC projects.


One of Radio 4's most respected journalists, Ed Stourton has presented Today since January 1999.


He will continue to present Today until Justin returns from Washington next year and in the meantime will be in discussions about other BBC projects.


Of Ed, Helen Boaden, BBC Director of News, said: "Ed has huge experience across news and current affairs in radio and television. He is a very fine journalist and I want him to remain part of the BBC News and Current Affairs family for many years to come."


Mark Damazer said: "Ed Stourton will continue to grace Radio 4 after he leaves Today. He is a distinguished journalist with a terrific track record in a host of Radio 4 programmes."


More about Justin


Prior to his role as North America Editor, Justin was the BBC Radio Chief Washington Correspondent.


In 2007 he presented Death To America, a major Radio 4 documentary series on anti-Americanism.


Before coming to Washington he spent three years as the BBC's Europe Correspondent, based in Brussels, Belgium.


Prior to that he was a radio and TV presenter based in London.


For three years he was the main anchor of Breakfast News and also presented the Six O'Clock News.


His previous career included stints as a roving foreign correspondent during which he reported from the first Gulf War, the war in Bosnia, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the first democratic elections in South Africa, and a coup in the Maldive Islands.


His first job in the BBC was for BBC Radio Ulster, based in Belfast.


He has been employed by the BBC as an ambassador for the organisation, holding public meetings and chairing question and answer sessions.


He was educated at Friends' School, Sidcot and the London School of Economics from which he graduated in 1983 with an honours degree in Economics.


More about Ed


Ed Stourton was born in Lagos, Nigeria in November 1957.


Educated first at Ampleforth College and then at Trinity College, Cambridge, he took a degree in English Literature before joining ITN as a graduate trainee in 1979.


He was a founder member of Channel 4 News in 1982, working as a scriptwriter then producer, duty home news editor and chief sub-editor.


Edward reported from Beirut for the first time in 1983 and spent most of the next decade covering foreign news.


In 1986, he was appointed Channel 4's Washington Correspondent, covering the final years of the Reagan presidency and the 1988 presidential campaign. He also presented special programmes on the Iran-Contra scandal.


In 1988 Stourton joined the BBC as Paris Correspondent.


In 1990 he returned to ITN as Diplomatic Editor, and during his three years in the job he reported from Baghdad during the Gulf War, from Bosnia during the siege of Sarajevo, from Moscow in the final days of the Soviet Union and from Europe throughout the negotiations leading up to the Maastricht summit.


In 1993 he returned to the BBC to the One O'Clock News, which he presented for six years.


He has also presented editions of Correspondent, Assignment and Panorama, and the phone-in programme Call Ed Stourton on Radio 4.


His previous work for Radio 4 includes the series The Violence Files, Asia Gold and Global Shakeout. Asia Gold won the Sony Gold for current affairs in 1997.


Since the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001 he has written and presented several foreign affairs series for Radio 4 and the BBC World Service.


In 2001 he won the Amnesty International Award for Best Television Documentary for Israel Accused.


Edward has also presented three series on important religious figures for Radio 4: In The Footsteps Of St Paul, In The Footsteps Of Moses and In The Footsteps Of Mohammed.


Notes to Editors


Today is Radio 4's most popular programme and over the last 12 months has reached an average of just over six million listeners every week.






Category: Radio 4; News
Date: 12.12.2008
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