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tv   The Media Show  BBC News  December 18, 2021 4:30pm-5:01pm GMT

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hello this is bbc news. the headlines... government scientific advisors warn tougher covid restrictions may be needed �*very soon�* in england — to avoid a steep rise in hospital admissions as omicron cases surge london�*s mayor declares a �*major incident�* — meaning the capital�*s nhs bodies, councils and emergency services can work closer together to limit the impact of the spread of omicron it is really important londoners
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understand how serious things are. the best thing londoners can do is get both vaccines and the booster jab. they provide extra layers of protection. football stadiums and shopping centres are among nearly three—thousand venues in england offering boosterjabs this weekend. some are open round—the—clock. a 27—year—old woman arrested after a fire at sutton in south london — in which four young boys died — has been bailed. aston villa�*s match against burnley is the latest premier league game to be postponed due to coronavirus. only one match will be played in the premier league today — that�*s leeds united v arsenal. and — after a] odudu bows out of tonight�*s strictly final, will it be rose and giovanni. orjohn and johannes who win the glitterball trophy? now on bbc news it�*s
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time for the media show. hello, good evening. good evening. that distinctive music can only mean one thing. it�*s time for channel 4 news and one of the most famous faces in broadcasting. jon snow has been the face of the programme since 1989. over the course of three decades, he has grilled every prime minister for margaret thatcher up to and including theresa may. he drew the iconic words, let bygones be bygones from nelson mandela. he shared a plane with idi amin, reported on wars in iran and crises in vietnam. and it�*s not all been hard news. he has danced and sung on tv and even got stoned on camera. but he has also been accused of being too partisan, of having political views that were too obvious and which undermine the network�*s impartiality. and so, at a time when the future of channel 4 is up for grabs, his words have come
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under unprecedented scrutiny. jon snow, welcome to the media show and i guess before we start, the first question is, you�*ve got a few days left at channel 4 news. hoping for an interview with borisjohnson? i�*m absolutely standing ready and i have every hope that that phone call will come and i�*ll suddenly be able to say i have literally interviewed every prime minister since i�*ve started. before we get stuck in, i just want to get one thing clear, which is how you see yourself. we know how we see you, but how do you see yourself? do you see yourself as a newsreader first and foremost? are you a reporter digging for originaljournalism who just happens to read the news? i see myself as lucky. and on top of that, i�*m a reporter. i have nothing else, no other responsibilities than to tell stories, to tell the truth and to interrogate. you love being on the road, don�*t you? oh, i love being on the road.
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that is the real arena of retrieving information and ideas and stories that maybe no one else has gotten to. and you spent a lot of your career doing that out on the road as a newsreader. you were in haiti after the hurricane, you were in new orleans after the flooding, you�*re on the ground outside of grenfell tower. you�*ve been working for a very long time and you went to india over a decade ago. what do you get from being on location that you would not get otherwise? i think you get totally plugged into reality. there�*s nothing between you and what you are looking at. it is up to you to try to make something of it and to interrogate anyone who was there and indeed, to interrogate what it is you are being told. let�*s go back to where it all began. you went to university to study law, but you are thrown out for taking part in an anti—apartheid protest. did you grow up in a political household?
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no. politically, in the sense that my parents were, what you call, automatic tories. i don�*t think they ever thought of any actual choice. there was no choice. and additionally, extraordinarily, my father was the headmaster of a school in sussex. and it was there that i encountered my first politician. who was that? the extraordinary thing is i was in the chapel and is said to my mother, who was that unhappy looking man down there at the end of our pew? she said jonathan, because that�*s what they called me. this is mr harold macmillan. he is the prime minister. do you know what a prime minister is, young man? and i said no sir. well, i am a conservative politician and i run the country. see you met harold mcmillan and it didn�*t from your career,
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make you want to be a politician. but there must be some sort of media gene and the snow family because dan snow is also a tv presenter. did you always know you wanted to be a journalist? no, i didn�*t know. what i really wanted to be a troublemaker. i wanted to change things. after i was sent down from university, i had to find something to do and i went to work in a day centre for homeless and vulnerable teenagers and stayed there for three years and it taught me everything i had not learned at that point. how come you�*re sitting with me of the media show? i wish i could�*ve said i had worked for the bbc and that made the transformation. but despite pining to work for the bbc, i never have been invited. there is still time.
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in that time, the creation of commercial radio was hatched and the first station on air was lbc and i applied for a job there and for some reason, i think, yes, probably peter snow, jon snow, he may be our own jon snow, he can be all right. they have peter snow. it will make sense. and i had three years of amazing journalism, really. because, sadly, the ira went wild and were bombing their way across london and the lucky thing was that i rode a bicycle. and so i got to the scene of the crime often before anyone else got anywhere near it. and all i had to do was find
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somewhere to lock my bike up. other than that i have my tape recorder on my shoulder and dived straight in. and if you are getting raw amazing reviewing stuff, right there on the ground, it is much more powerful, even if it is not as good. it may not be greatjournalism, but it was very powerful radio and people thought they were right in the heart of it. and you are thought to be a very good reporter, even though i probably was a terrible reporter. you took over as channel 4 news readerfrom peter after he absconded to the bbc. i don�*t think it was never regarded as regarded as the job i do as reading the news. it is interrogating the news. of course, you�*ve got to layout the facts and then challenge the people who are involved in those facts and determining whether they really are facts too. it�*s for the inquisitorial and reportage.
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let�*s talk about your big scoops, in 1976, you were flying in a falcon executive jet along with the owner idi amin who was the dictator in uganda. how did you come to be on that plane? i have to give you little bit of background. when i left school, i went on voluntary service overseas to uganda, never having been out of england. so, it was a big cultural shock, but it was also the most intoxicating and wonderful and amazing way of learning about the world. i developed this love of uganda and of africa and as soon as i became a reporter, i did a lot of reporting from africa. i know that you are interested in to go along with much of what enoch powell has been seeing recently. he does not want england to be colonised by africa.
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and it was on one of those trips that we were sent to uganda to try and hunt down idi amin and chellenge him for the terrible things he was doing. and the funny thing is, idi amin was rather taken with the fact that i had lived in uganda and he thought he is on his side. so he invited us on hisjet to see the country. and there i was with my crew and a rather angry looking security guard who had a gun on er hip. as we continued ourjourney. it became clear that he had gone to sleep and i was sitting next to him and i thought, i saw this pistol hanging off his belt. i thought, should i shoot him? you really considered it?
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ithought, me, pistol, him murderous, me, brave and courageous and looking for the truth. it is time i did something about this. jon snow, there�*s no possibility. and i thought, he may not actually be asleep, he might be pretending to be asleep. and i looked at the holster and the holster was undone and i could�*ve just pulled the gun out but was it loaded? with idiot would let idi amin on board with a loaded pistol? and then i thought, you�*re not going to survive this if you try that. and so, i did not. do you regret it? no. thank goodness, what a stupid thing to try and do. you watched nelson mandela walk to freedom, what was that like and how do you go about reporting the story of that kind? it was intoxicating.
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it was absolutely, the most glorious, it was liberation. south africa had a terrible record of apartheid and here i was, and there was an almost jesus christ figure who had appeared out of prison, an absolute hero of the time and the amazing responsibility of being allowed to interview him. because he was no problem at all. it is impossible to say but he was as interested in me as he was in him. he kept answering questions. i don�*t want to disappoint you, but i have to ask you, it is you we want to hear from him, not you asking me. i know nothing and you know everything. can we just do this interview? and we had a beautiful interview and he was the most lovely and gracious and amazing guy who had
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been through so much and yet was still the most vivid and affectionate and loving human being. and he said led let bygones be bygones. that was more important thing to him, peace rather than taking it on the people who took it out on him. the pressure that everyone has exerted and also the fact that apartheid committed so many crimes or so many crimes were committed in the name of apartheid, what should happen to people who committed those crimes? i have been saying throughout let bygones be bygones. nelson mandela is not the only world leader you have interviewed and you also grilled almost every prime minister since margaret thatcher. do you think politicians are harder to pin down now than when you first started?
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it is interesting — i think as the technology has developed, so has the capacity for the leader or politician to evade scrutiny. i think that is a fact. and it is much more difficult. there is no question that the interrogation in the commens is good stuff and democracy still functions, but the beauty of the press was that it was able to cut through a lot of stuff and just get to a leader and test and that is much more difficult today than it was. difficult in part because they�*ve got people who spend their full—time lives preventing you from getting anywhere near doing anything. yes. the spin doctors? and someone like margaret thatcher, she didn�*t actually need massive defenders. she was happy to be quizzed on the doorstep of number 10, as anyone. and it has become much,
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much tighter and much more difficult and in a funny sort of way, it has almost left leaving politicians looking smaller than their forbearers used to be able to give amazing accounts. you could say what�*s going on and you would get an answer. now, it is much harder. they think we�*re the enemy. it�*s got to a very soft and said space. are you the enemy? of course not. i want truth, i want to know what�*s going on. i want to know about on behalf of the viewer and the listener, what is happening? what is your purpose? what is the purpose of this law? what is the purpose of what you are doing? but it can be very difficult. you can get a background briefing, but there are no pictures. you have nothing to prove you ever spoke to anyone because it is off—camera.
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your fellow big—name interviewers have a particular approach. andrew neil would adopt a tone of incredulity, how would you describe your interview style? i am much thicker than they are. they are accomplished people with university degrees and i am not and therefore i have to be much more animal and i try to ask the questions that the viewer might really want answered. i try to follow up with an intelligent question, but the idea that i know any more than the average citizen, perhaps that is the joy of this. the average citizen wants you to ask questions on their behalf. they don�*t want you to plug your phd and check subsection five and see with the minister is telling the truth or not. they want you to ask straight on, what is going on here? as you wander around the party here, there is one thing that strikes
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you in that extraordinary number of people in your own party hate you. why do they hate you? i don't find that, actually. i find travelling around this conservative conference — i've spoken to every area of reception, travelling around the country, supporting conservative campaigns and colleagues. they find you aloof — that you�*re not one of them. ijust do not accept that. i really don't i don't accept that for a minute. you have been stoned on tv, you have danced, you have sung on camera. i know you are a former chorister, even so, is that chorister, even so, is that something there a case or not a case for saying the news reader shouldn�*t be a part of the story that audiences want a more bland figure? i don�*t think the presenter of news has a responsibility to evade the truth that he or she is a human being. and i think the attraction in many
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ways of what we have, let�*s say, more opportunity to question people and be more discursive, is that we remain human beings. we did not become automatons or trapped persons who were doing other people�*s bidding. the danger is that they will bring their weapons out onto the street and that there will be bloodshed again. moments later, guns actually did appear and order was eventually restored by those who expressed no sympathy for the women�*s position. your accent has definitely changed over the years. were you ever told you sounded too posh? often. i am a posh boy. did you change it on purpose? no! i speak as i ever did. your voice is definitely less posh? hasit? come on. i would dispute that.
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ok, i will play you some tapes later. you have been called a lefty, has the question of impartiality ever been raised to you by your bosses? never. no one has ever sat me down and said you are too right wing or too left wing or everything else. and i don�*t think i am. i think i go straight down the middle. for example, you think grenfell tower. grenfell tower is an extraordinary event in our time that speaks so loudly of inequality. if i were to take a position that looks at this from the point of view of a victim, someone who is living up the 73rd floor and lost their husband, child and everything, am i then to say look, i�*m sorry. i have to be completely objective about this, if they worked harder they would not have been on the top floor.
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no, no. you have to be the right person asking the right question at the right time and you�*re not going to adjust yourself because you think in some way, you are too left to write. i don�*t think of these things. i think the appalling suffering the person on the 12th floor who went through that terrible experience. andrew marr, who was stepping down from the bbc tojoin lbc, he said he wants to get his own voice back. do you feel constrained but what you can say because you were for channel 4? absolutely not. i feel no constraint at all and i have very rarely ever been ticked off over anything like that. you have been heavily criticised by the government, some of them see it as having a left—wing political bias which channel 4 news entirely disputes. channel 4 disputes this, obviously. why do you think they have that
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impression about channel 4 news? it has the responsibility of not being the bbc and i listen to it and i watch it far more than a watch any other channel. but the fact is, that given the bbc�*s position and given the fact that it is, in a sense, it runs a very fine and objective operation. the glory of channel 4 is that it is not the bbc and that it actually has the opportunity to roam free and make of the world what we can. can you remember a time when journalists came under so much criticism from the public as well as the government? i believe there�*s been many times where it has been tough, i don�*t think it has gone on for as long as this.
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the pandemic is an exacerbating factor. it goes in cycles, i�*ve remember harold wilson complaining about the media. it�*s a part of the furniture. frankly, if democracy stops complaining about the media, and we have reached a bad situation. does cancel culture exist? not as far as channel 4 is concerned. i am not conscious of it all. everyone is under pressure one way or another, pressure to tell the truth and that is our responsibility. if we were not telling the truth, then maybe we should be called to attention and not repeated. but the fact is, that doesn�*t happen very often. i think people exaggerate the extent to which there is some sort of a battle going on.
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i don�*t really think there is. and i�*m really interested in hearing your take on the health of the news industry right now. you worked at itn, channel 4 news, channel five news, is there a lot of competition that your colleagues at itv had last week as we discussed in the media show. joking about downing street party. what was your reaction to your colleagues at getting such a big scoop? pleasure. genuine pleasure. because it had come from itv which did not have a great track record of real mass of scoops like that. and it was a real utterly brilliant scoop and a very meaningful one. and we were envious, but we were thrilled. we didn�*t celebrate very much because we had access to it, but no, it was pleasure that our building, which houses a lot of tv channels had done something that the bbc must�*ve been, well, flapping their ears about.
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andrew marr is leaving the bbc. andrew neil has had his own well—publicized exit from broadcasting for the moment. what do you make of all these big news beasts going all at once? i think the big thing is to say how old are we? and we look at the age, the ages that we emerged from in many ways, the naive youthful period of the media�*s development, in which there was, we were all finding our way and the media today, obviously is quite different from the very odd and confused and rather posh outfits that used to exist in the 50s and 605. and all male. and all male, and now it�*s multicultural and it�*s men and women and it�*s a different world. we�*ve been lucky enough to be born in the right years, the late 40s and early 50s and we have come of age is broadcasting in the media have
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come of age and we have blossomed and enjoyed it and given back. and ifeel very proud to be part of it. how do you feel about leaving channel 4 news after three decades? it�*s been a long time. it�*s like leaving a marriage. there are the kids and all the links and the rest of it. you know, we are all interdependent in so many ways in the workplace and you see each other every day after day, week after week and month after month and year after year. and it�*s a big wrench. and your routine is channel 4 news. my routine hasn�*t changed in 33 years. looking back over your time in the role, a lot of people, leavejournalism because it�*s jaded.
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they say, you know, the same stories keep coming up again, it is depressing, nothing changes. do you feel that your journalism has made a difference? do you think yourjournalism has led to change for the better? because i�*m tall and have funny ties, people are terribly nice to me in the street and you get this feedback. and that is wonderful. you do get feedback and you do get a sense of why people watch and why they enjoy it and the rest of it, and we are different from other opportunities, other options. and, obviously, i�*m going to miss that. jon snow, thank you so much for coming on the media show today. it is wonderful to hear from you and thank you to our studio engineer. to everyone out there, thank you so much for listening and goodbye.
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hello. two types of weather across the british isles today. you have had sunshine and visibility or low cloud, mist and fog. this weather watch picture _ cloud, mist and fog. this weather watch picture has _ cloud, mist and fog. this weather watch picture has the _ cloud, mist and fog. this weather watch picture has the best - cloud, mist and fog. this weather watch picture has the best of- cloud, mist and fog. this weather i watch picture has the best of these. low cloud and mark in the valleys. high pressure with us at the moment. in high—pressure areas, when it gets down to the graft this dryer here evaporates the cloud. that is why it has been sent across scotland and northern england, closest to the high pressure. these westerly winds have shoved low cloud into the high ground of wales and south—west england. the cloud has not been able to get over the hills. overnight tonight, we will keep some clear skies. where that happens, temperatures down below freezing. —2 or minus three celsius in the
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coldest areas. pier visibility expected into sunday morning. on sunday contrasts weather—wise. breaks in the cloud again. probably a better chance of seeing some breaks develop across northern ireland as we go through the day. that leaves the central and eastern england where for some it will stay cloudy and murky into the afternoon. on the face of it, the weather is not changing a great deal into next week. however, massive changes taking place in the atmosphere in the atlantic and the polar regions. one branch goes right up over greenland and back down the other side. what this does is build is a normal temperature contrasts right over the top of the british isles
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around about the christmas period. where this boundary lies it will be crucial. forsome, a where this boundary lies it will be crucial. for some, a lot of dry weather. others might see a spell of heavy rain. mild conditions through these two zones. there might be something more disruptive. we are not sure where this boundary will end up being. that is what is uncertain. we will be firming up about that over the next few days.
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this is bbc news. the headlines at five. government scientific advisors warn tougher covid restrictions may be needed very soon in england — to avoid a steep rise in hospital admissions as omicron cases surge. another 90,000 cases have been reported across the uk in the latest 2a hours. london�*s mayor declares a major incident — meaning the capital�*s nhs bodies, councils and emergency services can work closer together to limit the impact of the spread of omicron. it�*s really important londoners understand how serious things are. the best thing londoners can do is to get both vaccines and the booster, they provide extra layers of protection. football stadiums and shopping
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centres are among nearly 3,000 venues in england offering booster jabs this weekend.

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