Andy Zaltzman secures the News Quiz chair | Radio 4 say the job's his as his initial stint comes to an end © BBC

Andy Zaltzman secures the News Quiz chair

Radio 4 say the job's his as his initial stint comes to an end

Andy Zaltzman is to be the new permanent host of The News Quiz.

Radio 4 made the announcement after he, Nish Kumar and Angela Barnes each hosted a series of the topical panel show this year following the departure of Miles Jupp.

Zaltzman’s series comes to an end with the episode that airs at 6.30pm tonight, but he will return on New Year’s Day with a ‘best of’ compilation from this year kicking off a new run.

The satirist said: ‘It is a great delight and privilege to have been entrusted by Radio 4 with the keys to the illustrious News Quiz chair.

‘In an ideal world, of course, there would be no news worth satirising. Regrettably, that utopia seems not to be especially imminent right now, in the UK or elsewhere.

‘I will therefore attempt to make sure The News Quiz not only holds up a mirror to the world, but also swats it firmly with that mirror, until it starts behaving itself.

‘Ideally, they would have let me do the Shipping Forecast, but The News Quiz is almost as good, and I eagerly await the challenge of working with a fantastic cast of panellists to make the show as exciting, pertinent, inventive and funny as possible. And possibly making occasional references to cricket.’

Zaltzman, who is also the statistician on Test Match Special, first appearing on The News Quiz in 2006 as a panelist. He has also written and hosted programmes on Radio 4 including Andy Zaltzman’s History Of The Third Millennium, Empire-ical Evidence, and The Department with John Oliver. He also hosts the long-running satirical podcast The Bugle.

Radio 4 controller Mohit Bakaya, said: ‘Listeners have long turned to The News Quiz for a satirical take on what’s happening in the world, and its ability to hold a different light up to topical events couldn’t be more important than it is now.

‘I am delighted that Andy will be the next host of The News Quiz. His wonderfully surreal take on the world and razor sharp satirical brain are brilliantly suited to the show. I’m not sure he’ll get to do the Shipping Forecast, but I look forward to him finding imaginative ways to squeeze the cricket in.’

Sioned Wiliam, Radio 4’s comedy commissioning editor, added: ‘Andy has a brilliantly unique satirical voice and we’re thrilled to welcome him as the next host of The News Quiz. This show is much loved by our audience and a talent like Andy’s is perfect to hit the right notes when the headlines can be so extraordinary.’

 Created by John Lloyd, The News Quiz was first broadcast in 1977 with Barry Norman as chairman, with other former hosts including Sandi Toksvig, Simon Hoggart and Barry Took. Tthere have now been over 100 series of the programme.

Published: 23 Oct 2020

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