Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Scot free

“It was exciting to discover that the BBC and I had the same idea about what I should do next. I’m thrilled to be moving from one dream job to another, and working with the programmes across Radio 4 - including Today - that I love and have known for so long. I can’t think of a more invigorating challenge. And after 21 years, I can turn off that 3am alarm at last”.

A carefully-constructed quote from Jim Naughtie, stepping or stepped down from the Today programme presentation rota. Shorter than many of his questions, it begs a number of others.

If Jim, at 63, is feeling alarm-hatred after 21 years with the programme, what about Mr Humphrys, 73, with 29 years of calls from the programme PA at 0430 ?

If Jim's not on shift, will producers have to find more items to fill ?

Will Jim's continuing salary from Auntie match that which might be afforded to, say, Nick Robinson ?  Can you put a price on this apparently endless list of tasks for our hero...

James Naughtie will become Special Correspondent for BBC Radio 4 in January 2016, after 21 years presenting the Today programme. In this role he will have a responsibility for charting the course of the constitutional changes at the heart of the UK political debate - devolution and independence, parliamentary reform and the changes in the UK’s relations with Europe.

Jim will also be a roving reporter and Radio 4 listeners will continue to hear from him at home and around the world. Next year he will be an essential part of the coverage of the Scottish elections for Holyrood, and the American and French presidential elections. He will also report on these and other major stories for Today and all radio news and current affairs programmes. He will write and present radio documentaries and continue to anchor the overnight coverage of elections, and the EU referendum, on BBC Radio. 

He is also being appointed as BBC News Books Editor. This will chiefly involve working for Radio 4, where he will present a regular book review for the Today programme on a Saturday morning.

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