C5's Man in White Suit to expose spin

Channel 5 is to bring on ITN reporter John Gilbert as "the Man in the White Suit" to expose the spin of the General Election campaign.

Gilbert, described as the news programme’s "anarchic reporter", is to don his white suit and travel the country exposing election lies and staged photo opportunities.

"John is full of surprises and has a way of asking rude questions in a very rude way," said Gary Rogers, editor of 5 News. "He will be taking a wry look at the election and will aim to get under the skin of things, staying away from the press pack, unpicking pomposity and exposing photo opportunities for what they are."

With the election date now widely expected to be 12 June, 5 News has already been given permission for a one-hour programme which will start at the non-peak time of 5.30pm.

Half of the show will be a chat-style programme made by the Anglia team which produces C5’s daytime magazine programme, The Wright Stuff.

In the news segment each night Charlotte Hume, 5 News consumer affairs correspondent, will play the role of political agony aunt and answer questions on how election issues affect viewers. Camera crews across Britain will record questions which will be answered in the ‘Dear Charlotte’ slot.

5 News political editor Andy Bell and political correspondent Cathy Jones will be reporting on the stories of the day during the campaign.

"Apart from covering all the key issues, 5 News will rise to the challenge of making the election campaign relevant to our viewers’ lives, fresh and at times fun," said deputy editor Deborah Turness. "We know our audience expect their news delivered in an accessible, lively format, and ‘the Man in the White Suit’ and ‘Dear Charlotte’ should introduce a completely fresh approach to election reporting."

By Julie Tomlin

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