After ten years in the BBC Radio 4 News Quiz hot seat, the chairman Simon Hoggart has decided to leave the programme at the end of the next series.
The show has risen to new heights under Simon’s chairmanship, making it one of the most popular programmes on Radio 4.
Simon has, in fact, twice occupied the News Quiz chair.
The show, which began in 1977, was the brainchild of John Lloyd – who also developed the hit show QI for BBC TWO – and its first chairman was Barry Norman.
He was succeeded by Barry Took. Barry and Simon each chaired the programme in the Eighties.
In 1996 Simon became the resident chairman.
Simon Hoggart says: “I’ve decided to stop being chairman of The News Quiz after the next series, which starts next month.
“It’s been a marvellous ten years – 12 if you count a previous incarnation in the 1980’s – but I’m getting a bit clapped out and jaded, and I think that’s beginning to show.
“Better to quit while still ahead rather than have kindly broadcasting executives accompanied by soothing nurses drag me out by the heels in a few years’ time.”
Mark Damazer, Controller, Radio 4, says: “Simon has made a terrific contribution to The News Quiz and we are sorry to see him go.
“We look forward to hearing him in other programmes on Radio 4 in the future.”
The News Quiz with Simon at the helm is back on Radio 4 on Friday 10 February 2006 at 6.30pm.