Robert Peston: Best performer award is 'mind-boggling'

BBC business editor Robert Peston said he found it “mind-boggling” that he had beaten Bruce Forsyth to win a broadcasting award today.

The journalist picked up the Broadcasting Press Guild’s prize for best performer in a non-acting role, beating fellow nominees Forsyth and Cheryl Cole.

While Peston’s credentials as a business journalist are unquestionable, his way of speaking on TV could charitably be described as idiosyncratic, and has drawn a fair amount of criticism and mockery over the last year.

The BPG is made up of journalists who write about TV, radio and the media, and Peston said he was slightly taken aback they had chosen him.

“Given that some of the people who voted for me have written, shall we say, not always flattering things about my performance it is surprising, but it’s great,” he said.

“The notion that I could pip Brucie to the post is just mind-boggling – he’s probably the best TV performer of the last 50 years in any year you could think of.

“I’m thrilled. It’s been a really interesting year or two years for me, and I love the job, and it’s fantastic therefore to win a prize for doing something you love.

“Given that I am probably the world’s worst performer, it’s quite a coup.”

Sir David Frost, who celebrates his 70th birthday next month, won the Harvey Lee award for outstanding achievement in recognition of his long career.

The BPG said the recent film version of his encounter with US president Richard Nixon, Frost/Nixon “served as a reminder of just how much he has brought to the television business, first as a presenter and interviewer, who managed to combine entertainment with hard-hitting exposes, and later interviewing any world leader who is anybody – and also as one of the founders of two ground-breaking commercial TV companies, London Weekend and TV-am.”

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