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Brexitcast host Chris Mason succeeds Jonathan Dimbleby at Radio 4's Any Questions?

BBC Brexitcast co-host Chris Mason will take over as host of Radio 4 political debate programme Any Questions?

Mason said he was “beyond excited” to succeed Jonathan Dimbleby, who hosted the weekly programme for 32 years until he stepped down in June.

Dimbleby tweeted this afternoon to say the Yorkshire-born Mason, who is a political correspondent at BBC News, was a “great choice for a great job”.

“Fine political journalist who inhabits the Westminster bubble but has feet firmly planted outside,” he said. “Tough, clever and witty. Listeners will relish him as much as he’ll relish the role.”

Mason is one of the four hosts of the BBC’s Brexit podcast, which recently moved to TV to replace This Week in the Thursday late-night slot.

He regularly appears on BBC News and Radio 4 and has previously stepped in to present BBC Breakfast and Politics Live.

He said: “To be taking over from someone called Dimbleby of the broadcasting dynasty is pinch yourself stuff. There isn’t a better point in my lifetime to take on this role.

“I believe passionately it’s the job of the BBC to scrutinise, allow audiences to ask questions of politicians and to have serious but informal conversations so that those in power can be seen in three dimensions.”

Any Questions? features debate from media, political and business figures as they answer topical questions from audiences in a different town each week.

Mason said: “On a discussion programme like Any Questions? audiences and listeners can understand not just what someone thinks but why they think that way. That isn’t always possible in other places but it’s vital in today’s battle of ideas.

“It aids political conversation and informs what we all understand about what’s happening in the UK and around the world.”

Radio 4 controller Mohit Bakaya, who took the station’s top job in August, said the Any Questions? job had been sought after by a “number of brilliant broadcasters that I have the highest regard for”.

He said of Mason: “Chris is a first class political correspondent and, for some years now, his ability to interpret and explain the complexities of what’s happening in our fast changing political landscape has made him one of our most trusted and insightful journalists.

“He approaches Westminster with the eye of an ‘outsider’ which makes him well placed to connect with audiences around the country.

“As we face another period of political uncertainty, Any Questions? and its role in giving people the chance to ask questions of our politicians is as vital as ever.”

Last year Mason was seen as a contender to host Radio 4 current affairs programme PM after Eddie Mair’s departure for commercial radio station LBC. The post was eventually taken up by Newsnight’s Evan Davis.

A number of Mason’s Brexitcast colleagues have congratulated him on Twitter today, including editor Dino Sofos who said: “It’s about time a Yorkshireman presented a Radio 4 politics programme.”

Non-BBC radio figures were also complimentary, including Iain Dale who said Mason would be “brilliant”, and Talkradio’s Julia Hartley-Brewer who said he was “a brilliant journalist and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet too”.

He broadcasts his first Any Questions? episode on Friday, 18 October.

Picture: BBC

Comments

1 thought on “Brexitcast host Chris Mason succeeds Jonathan Dimbleby at Radio 4's Any Questions?”

  1. The EU are now blackmailing the sensible electorate,wether leave ,or remain.
    They are witholding their extension time decision until after Mon or Tues.All J Corbyn or sensible Tory rebels aresaying is TAKE NO DEAL CRASH OUT,OR DELIBERATEdecision possibility by Boris zjohnson off the table.
    Make Johnson rule it out at a transition negociation collapse,or at anytime.
    If the 27 will not give three months GET INTO THE COMMONS AND GET A MAJORITY TO REVOKE ARTICLE 50 FOR NOW.
    Make it clear its only temporary situation to stop a CRASH OUT by any priminister,Johnson or anyone else.
    TELL THE EU WITH HAVE NO CHOICE,but we will re submit it at a time of the UK choosing.
    The blame is firmly in the hands of the EU and Boris and the present UK government.
    Decent opposition,even sensible Tory rebels will vote for a General Election when no deal is not a possibility EVER ,now or at any point in the transitional period if UK negociators dont behave properly.
    But the EU must give us three months now,not on Boris terms of no deal possibility.
    If not parliment can re voke article 50 and re submit it as soon as we have sorted out a referendum,new government prepared properly.
    We respect the leave vote but not to destroy our economy and peoples lives,business jobs.

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