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When the crime writer met the Director General

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Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick 17:11, Monday, 11 October 2010

Crime writer PD James and BBC Director General Mark Thompson.

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Crime writer and radio pugilist PD James has won one of the most prestigious awards in British journalism - the Nick Clarke Interview Prize. She won it for her on-air punch-up with BBC Director General Mark Thompson, during her guest editorship of the Today Programme on Radio 4 last new year's eve.

Quoted in The Guardian, Evan Davis, full-time Today programme interviewer said: "She shouldn't be guest editing, she should be permanently presenting the programme..."

The shortlist for the award included a number of other heavyweight full-timers: Owen Bennett-Jones, from the World Service; Andrew Hosken, also from The Today Programme; Jeff Randall from Sky News and Mark Lawson courageously challenging Russell Crowe on his accent on Front Row.

The Press Gazette has the story (and the full shortlist), The Guardian covered PD James' Today stint and here's the running order from her excellent edition of the programme. Mark Damazer, Nick Clarke's friend, introduced the prize on the blog last year.

Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog


  • Comment number 1.

    I should just like to congratulate PD James on the award, and would add that, in my opinion, it is richly deserved.

  • Comment number 2.

    This was a great interview by P D James which showed Mark Thompson in a very, very poor light. Thompson stumbled his way through the question on ageism and female presenters, after which he was knocked hollow on the question of senior managers' salaries. He attempted to justify the high salaries by arguing: "If you want to have the best people . . ."

    Thompson may have convinced himself that he is one of the best, but many listeners may be inclined to think something else.


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