An audience of more than 300 filled the performing arts centre at St Swithun’s School in Winchester recently for a talk by BBC presenter and author John Humphrys about his life’s work, politics, the BBC and his “current nightmares”. Having anchored most news programmes on TV and radio in his 50 years’ career, Humphrys now presents Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme and TV’s ‘Mastermind’.
Apart from his broadcasting work Humphrys writes books (seven so far) and newspaper columns and has set up a charity: the Kitchen Table Charities Trust. The proceeds of his talk went to the trust in order to help it fund the work of small charities in building schools, providing water and alleviating poverty for the poorest people in the world.
During the evening Humphrys shared anecdotes from his career, including stories of Tony Blair and their infamous encounters, as well as his insights into journalism following 56 years in the profession. These included reporting the tragic Aberfan disaster.
During the interval, Humphrys signed books, again with all proceeds going to his charitable trust. The evening concluded with a question and answer session during which the audience learned of Humphrys’ greatest career aspiration: to interview the Queen. He revealed her answer to his request to give an interview: “No, and even if I did, it would not be with you.”