News: Andy Zaltzman Takes Over At The News Quiz

News: Andy Zaltzman Takes Over At The News Quiz

As the latest series of The News Quiz draws to a close, current guest presenter Andy Zaltzman has been confirmed as the new host. Andy will front the satirical panel show when it returns to Radio 4 on New Year’s Day 2021. 

Since September he has taken the helm of the programme, steering it through significant topical subjects whilst the world navigates the continuing covid-19 pandemic, run up to the US election, Brexit negotiations and more. 

Comedian, podcaster and Test Match Special cricket statistician, Andy contributes to a range of comedy, sport and political programmes across the BBC, first appearing on The News Quiz in 2006. He has 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 one of the most popular comedy/political podcasts, The Bugle, attracting big audiences from the UK, the US and beyond. 

Andy Zaltzman 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.”

Controller of Radio 4, 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, adds: “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.” 

Former hosts of The News Quiz include Sandi Toksvig, Simon Hoggart, Barry Took, Barry Norman, Miles Jupp, Angela Barnes and Nish Kumar. The show features four panellists every week from across the world of comedy and journalism. The long and illustrious list of contributors has included the late Jeremy Hardy, Hugo Rifkind, the late Linda Smith, Simon Evans, Lucy Porter, Mark Steel, Andy Hamilton, Danny Finkelstein, Kerry Godliman, Zoe Lyons, Ayesha Hazarika, Susan Calman, the late Alan Coren, Helen Lewis, Desiree Burch, Sophie Duker, Andrew Maxwell, Anand Menon, Lloyd Langford, Daliso Chaponda, Francis Wheen and Geoff Norcott. Created by John Lloyd, The News Quiz was first broadcast in 1977 with Barry Norman as chairman, there have now been over 100 series of the programme.

 The next series of The News Quiz, hosted by Andy Zaltzman, will begin 1 Jan 2021 on Radio 4 on BBC Sounds, with a ‘Best-of’ special compiled from episodes in 2020.



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