Thursday, 18 February 2010
Radio 4 comeback for What The Papers Say
The What The Papers Say newspaper review programme is being revived for BBC Radio 4 in the run-up to the General Election and may be given a permanent slot if it is a success.
Radio 4 is planning a 12-show run of the show for the general election.
What The Papers Say was first made by Granada Television for ITV and ran for 52 years. It switched to Channel 4 in 1982 and then BBC 2 in 1989 before being dropped in 2008. It was the second longest running British tv programme after Panorama.
Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer says that the format for the revived programme will remain largely untouched. He said that a roster of presenters had yet to be decided but added he was keen to find a permanent slot for the show after the election. The date of the first programme will depend on the timing of the general election.
Among the early presenters of What The Papers Say was Harold Evans when he was editor of the Northern Echo in the 1960s. He tells in in his autobiography My Paper Chase how he was warned by an editor that some of the "Top Boys" in Fleet Street were upset that "a newspaperman" who was "one of our kind" should be criticising the press on a commercial television company and claimed that he would put some newspapers out of business.
Evans' reaction was: "I had the curious notion that if 'helping newspapers' survive was the criterion, surely improving their performance would help."
WTPS hosts have included Brian Inglis (pictured), Paul Foot, Alastair Campbell, Ian Hislop, Simon Hoggart and Auberon Waugh.