John Humphrys is one of the UK’s most respected – and most feared – broadcasters. In the words of the Daily Telegraph he is “the most feared inquisitor in the land” and according to the Daily Mail the “outstanding radio interviewer of the past decade… fearless, forensic and well informed”.
He’s been a journalist for nearly half a century: foreign correspondent, television newsreader, political interviewer, newspaper columnist, author, and presenter of Mastermind. He has won just about all the national broadcasting awards going … including “Journalist of the Year” last month and the Sony Gold Medal for lifetime achievement, the industry’s Oscar. The citation read: “He has truly changed the face of radio and the nature of the radio interview for an entire generation.” But not everyone approves of HOW he has changed it.
He is occasionally attacked by the politicians he meets across the Today studio microphones. One former Conservative Cabinet Minister accused him of “poisoning the well of democratic debate” with his style of interviewing. The Labour Party dubbed him “the John Humphrys problem” and wrote to the BBC to say “something must be done about him”. On both occasions the BBC was swamped with letters of support. Most said he was not the PROBLEM, but the SOLUTION. He was in the headlines again more recently when The Times published a two-page splash alleging that he’d called all Labour ministers “liars”.
His Radio 4 series “Humphrys in Search of God” attracted enormous attention. The Times said it should have been called “God in Search of Humphrys”.
John has written four books, all of which have become best-sellers. Two of them deal with the way we mangle and manipulate the English language. He says there’s a lot of it about. His latest book is “In God We Doubt” – published in the autumn of 2007..