James Naughtie

  • Presenter

Press clippings

Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction 2023 shortlist revealed

Books by India Knight, James Hannaham, Sophie McCartney, Fergus Craig, Aravind Jayan and Bob Mortimer have been shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2023.

British Comedy Guide, 4th October 2023

Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction 2021 shortlist revealed

The books by Dolly Alderton, Naji Bakhti, Diksha Basu, Guy Kennaway, Hilary Leichter and Lauren Oyler have been shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2021.

British Comedy Guide, 30th May 2021

Daliso Chaponda joins judging panel for Wodehouse book contest

Daliso Chaponda has joined the judging panel for the 2021 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.

British Comedy Guide, 5th February 2021

Audio: How well does comedy travel?

Stand-up comedy has become a central part of British and American culture in recent years. But how is this culturally specific form of performance seen in other countries? Comedians Igor Meerson and Francesco de Carlo, who are performing at this year's Edinburgh Fringe, told Today presenter James Naughtie and the BBC's arts editor Will Gompertz about how their humour goes down with audiences in Scotland.

James Naughtie & Will Gompertz, BBC News, 23rd August 2014

Audio: Jermey Lloyd on his 'amazing' OBE

One of the people to make the New Year's honours list was the actor and comedy writer Jeremy Lloyd. He told Today presenter James Naughtie that his OBE was the "most amazing thing in my life, really".

James Naughtie, Today Programme, 29th December 2012

Audio - Dom Joly: There's a witch hunt against hoax DJs

Comedian Dom Joly talks about the Australian royal hoaxers.

The Australian radio hosts at the centre of the hoax call to the King Edward VII hospital - pretending to be members of the Royal Family asking after the Duchess of Cambridge - say they are "gutted and heartbroken" over the death of nurse Jacintha Saldanha.

Mrs Saldanha was found dead on Friday, three days after taking the hoax call.

Her death has led many to ask where people involved in such programmes should draw the line.

Dom Joly, comedian and columnist in The Independent, was host of Trigger Happy TV - a Channel 4 series which played tricks on members of the public using hidden cameras.

"I do have sympathy with the DJs in the extent that there's been this sort of witch hunt against them online as though they intentionally did this with the view that the consequences were going to happen.

"When I do stuff I've got a rough judgement of who I'm doing things with.

"I draw the line on what makes me laugh and what doesn't. There are legal parameters anyway. I tend to have a traffic light system. When I start talking to someone, if there's something that doesn't feel right I walk away. I think it only works when you've got someone who's on a sort of equal footing."

James Naughtie, Today Programme, 10th December 2012

As for last night Sally (Olivia Colman), personal assistant to Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville), head of deliverance at the Olympic Deliverance Commission in the always amusing and sporadically very funny Twenty Twelve, I yearned for the happy ending that she herself seemed to yearn for, a meaningful clinch with her boss. Alas, the final episode didn't yield the romantic encounter it had promised, despite Sally continuing to show much more devotion to Ian than he got at home from his needy, nagging, pixellated wife.

It's hard to think of a spoof documentary that has been more fortuitously timed than Twenty Twelve. The first episode poked fun at the Olympic countdown clock, and within less than a day the real clock had malfunctioned. Since then, there's been no end of argy-bargy concerning the future use of the Olympic stadium, with the decision to hand it to West Ham United robustly challenged by Tottenham Hotspur and Leyton Orient. Oh, and marathon man David Bedford has resigned, citing general ineptitude. So it has taken only a very small leap of the imagination into the fictional world of the ODC, whose head of sustainability (Amelia Bullmore) was last night confronted by a man from the London Wildlife Stag Beetle Outreach Project, worried that clearing an area of tree stumps would wreak devastation among his beloved beetles.

Similarly outraged was Tony Ward (Tim McInnerny), a volatile film-maker aghast at the deployment of Greenwich Park for the equestrian events, and the probable daily invasion of "20,000 pubescent girls from second-rate public schools in Surrey with dreadful aspirational mothers". To demonstrate his opposition, Ward had a large pile of horse manure dumped outside the ODC offices, which Fletcher agreed to deal with to "keep it from Seb".

I don't think that's another example of art and life colliding, but it easily could be. Indeed, Ward and Roberts finally came face to face in the Today programme studio, where they were asked a succinct question by James Naughtie, just about the only truly unlikely turn of events in the entire half-hour.

Brian Viner, The Independent, 19th April 2011

Go mild in the country

A cameo by James Naughtie, accents that make the Wurzels sound like Joyce Grenfell, enough Cath Kidston florals to choke a dray horse: Tamara Drewe couldn't do more to tickle the fancy of its middle-Britain target audience if it took every last one of them on holiday to Tuscany.

Alison Rowat, The Herald, 9th September 2010

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