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I've never exactly been bowled over by Sarah Montague as a Today presenter. Placed in a really firey interview situation, she stumbles, can't think on her feet, and often pursues pre-determined lines of questioning blindly, without responding to what's actually going on in front of her. (I'm not saying I could do any better at her job, by the way. I'm just saying there are other people who could).

Anyway, my level of impressedness slipped another peg today, during her interview with Edith Hall, Professor of Classics at Durham and author of Inventing the Barbarian, and a man called Simon Armitage who has just written a dramatic adaptation of The Odyssey for broadcast during the Olympics. She began by asking Simon Armitage, 'Was it difficult adapting the play for modern audiences?'

Slap on wrist. Back to school!

Later on, she said The Odyssey was 'considered to be the second story ever', I suppose on the basis that she thinks it's the 'sequel' to The Iliad.

It's also transpired over the last couple of days, in relation to a story about a Swiss Alphorn, that Bob Holness, no less, used to be a regular 'freelance' presenter of Today for quite some years. The mind boggles!

EDIT: The clip can now be heard here.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
jessica_phoenix
Aug. 11th, 2004 03:10 am (UTC)
OOh do you mean Simon Armitage? He's a great friend of my Dad's and has said I can stage the debut performance of Mister Heracles for fiver :) He's an absolutely brilliant poet - I highly recommend him!
strange_complex
Aug. 11th, 2004 04:18 am (UTC)
Oops, yes - you're right! Original post now modified according (and now I've had a chance to check my facts against the 'listen again' service).
white_hart
Aug. 11th, 2004 05:43 am (UTC)
Personally it was the comparison of Odysseus to David Beckham that left me open-mouthed...
bloodnok
Aug. 11th, 2004 06:26 pm (UTC)
I do worry [1] about where Today is going wrt its presenters. Martha Kearney? Martha fscking Kearney?! No!!!

*wipes spittle from chin*

That time of the day, as I'm hauling myself through the shower in preparation for another day in purgatory (aka the office), I want to hear presenters that have the strength of character to shred the clowns that they are interviewing, when appropriate. I don't hear any rising through the ranks at the moment.

Aside: isn't listen again great? I watch almost zero television, but pay my licence fee without too much grumbling as the Beeb does form a cornerstone of my life through R4 and its website.


[1] Not enough to keep me awake at night, OK? *g*
strange_complex
Aug. 12th, 2004 01:08 am (UTC)
Indeed. I mean, Bob Holness is a bit of a scary thought as a Today presenter, but at least the man has style and character. Sarah Montague and Martha Kearney lack both. And it's not just that women aren't naturally confrontational enough to do the interviews, or anything like that, as Sue MacGregor used to be great at it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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