BBC News Fix

  • BBC News Presenter Count 2015: BBC News at Five

    2014 was a year of injustice for the BBC News at Five… and England at the World Cup, but let’s face it: Huw Edwards has a much better chance beating Gavin Esler at his own game, as he rightfully should every year, when it comes to this count than Rooney ever scoring in front of a global crowd. Last year witnessed Esler beat Edwards by 7 programmes with the pair sharing up 183 shows between them. This year Edwards is back on top, and with quite a clearance, too. Take that, Esler. Regardless of the obvious rivalry (dreaming, here), here’s that all important count:

    (1) Huw Edwards – 93

    (2) Gavin Esler – 64

    (3) Julian Worricker – 30

    (4) Ben Brown – 23

    (5) Simon McCoy – 16

    (6) Clive Myrie – 15

    (7) Emily Maitlis – 13

    (8) Tim Willcox – 9

    (9) Maxine Mawhinney – 6

    (10) Christian Fraser – 5

    (11) Ros Atkins – 2

    (12) Ross Hawkins – 1

    Annita McVeigh – 1

    Matthew Price – 1

    Jon Kay – 1

    Jane Hill – 1

    Sophie Long – 1

    It ain’t that important but I seriously question how if BBC News’ top anchor has been given a chance to compete with the big guns on other channels (Dermot Murnaghan, Emma Crosby and Alexander Armstrong on this pointless show you may have heard about) in the afternoon’s hottest hour for news, why can’t he put in the time? Edwards clearly is more familiar with fronting the prepared bulletin at Ten, which suits his tenor voice and glum expression at reporting the latest events in the ongoing ISIS saga – that including the death of the dog unluckily named after the terrorist group in Downton Abbey. Maybe, just maybe, it is time to give his snoozer of a News Channel show to someone like Worricker or even Brown who, after reshuffles in the previous year, is the new NC hopper. By that I mean he’s a shift-shifter, which matches his role as roving-guy-on-the-scene-in-the-dusty-desert every time something important happens in the Middle East. Willcox and Myrie also pick up points on the Eastern front for the Five, a sacrifice I’m unhappy with – I’d much rather tune in to hear how loudly Willcox can shout in the studio, or see how pompous Myrie can look in bantering with the sports guy about Manchester City, than ever seeing them try to talk over tractors or army trucks going by in the middle of No Man’s Land or God’s Forbidden City, two places I kinda just made up on the spot, much like the gags Esler tries to pull with Mark Kermode.

    As for this year’s statistics, I’ll point out a few things: Worricker is in third place for the second year running, a position once held by Maitlis who this year, having scarcely appeared in 2014 with 1 appearance, sits surprisingly below the ranks of McCoy and Myrie, who both have picked up this gig a little more. McCoy, in particular, has leapfrogged (are you liking the frequent frog verbs I’m using this time?) to being the go-to guy to call in at the last possible moment for Edwards’ hour, primarily because of McCoy’s new stripes as an afternoon regular. Maitlis, meanwhile, has been focused more on Newsnight in the previous year which is great for any male politician who is up for ever admitting on live television just how attractive Westminster finds the journalist. They even had to ship out Jon Sopel to the United States just to stop his continuous, slightly over-bearing banter with Maitlis – something I miss on a Monday, personally, although McCoy has recently upped the #makeMaitlislaugh effort for any brigade on Twitter searching for a new Youtube NC gag to watch a thousand times.

    The surprise choices for the Five this year have been Mawhinney, McVeigh, Long and Hill, who used to front the Five a lot more when there were less newsreaders willing to miss Pointless or any Channel 5 soap to read the news. Mawhinney, in particular, shone in her small stint around the festive period. The biggest shock, though, is that Nicholas Owen has failed to host the Five at all in 2015. I’m gutted, I used to love his enthusiasm and rapport with… himself. As sarcastic as this sounds, couldn’t have old Saint Nick come in for Christmas?

    I shall watch out for Owen this year. Oh, and Maitlis because… well, I like watching political sparks fly. The future: Mishal Husain, please. That’s who you want four days a week.

    Tom Scudamore,

    BNF’s weekend resident


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