The News Quiz names Andy Zaltzman as permanent host

Friday 23rd October 2020, 5:30pm

  • Radio 4 have announced Andy Zaltzman as the new permanent host of The News Quiz
  • The panel show will return for Series 104 in January 2021
  • Zaltzman says: "It is a great delight and privilege to have been entrusted by Radio 4 with the keys"
The News Quiz. Andy Zaltzman.

Andy Zaltzman will be the new permanent host of The News Quiz, Radio 4 has revealed.

The comedian has guest presented the most recent run of the panel show (Series 103), which ends tonight. Now, the station has confirmed they've asked him to return to the role in 2021.

The BBC says: "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."

Zaltzman says: "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, comments: "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 commissioner, 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."

The News Quiz was first broadcast in 1977, with Barry Norman in the host's chair. Subsequent chairpersons have included Simon Hoggart, Barry Took, Sandi Toksvig and Miles Jupp. The earlier series in 2020 were guest hosted by Angela Barnes and Nish Kumar.

The News Quiz will return on 1st January 2021 with a 'best of' episode looking back at highlights from the show's 2020 episodes.

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