John Humphrys: ‘I’m hugely argumentative by instinct’


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Media captionJohn Humphrys: “I don’t feel any need to get back in front of a microphone or indeed a camera”

After 32 years of co-presenting BBC Radio 4’s Today, John Humphrys knew exactly how he wanted his final programme to sound.

“I had told the big boss that I wanted to leave without any fuss at all,” he explains. “At five minutes to nine on the morning of my last programme, I would say, ‘That’s it from us, oh and by the way, this is my last programme. And since I’m leaving, here are a few thoughts.’

“They vetoed that, because it just wouldn’t work. And they persuaded me.”

As a result, his last ever edition of the BBC’s flagship radio news programme ended up being quite an event.

Humphrys spoke to former Prime Minister David Cameron for his final 08:10 interview – the most prestigious slot of the programme. Tony Blair and Dame Edna Everage made appearances too, and for his closing item Humphrys was joined by several former co-hosts, including James Naughtie, Sarah Montague and Sue McGregor.