Jonathan Dimbleby is to leave his Saturday afternoon BBC Radio 4 phone-in show ‘Any Answers?’ after nearly 25 years as host of the programme.
He’ll be replaced from 9th June by Anita Anand, the former 5 live Drive co-host.
He said: “It’s a hard decision. It has been a privilege and pleasure to share so many conversations with listeners over these years. I shall miss that greatly. But, as I am not a politician, I hope I will not be misinterpreted if I say that I am handing over to Anita simply because I want to spend more time with my family, which means less time at the microphone.”
Anita currently presents 5 live’s Double Take on Sunday mornings, which she co-hosts with Sam Walker. She also is a regular voice on the World Service and appears on BBC Two’s Daily Politics. Anita has presented a range of programmes for Radio 4 before, including Beyond Westminster, the Westminster Hour, Saturday Live and Midweek.
Anita said: “It’s an honour to be asked to present Any Answers? Getting to the heart of the stories that really affect people is why I became a journalist. I’m excited by the opportunities afforded by the programme to engage with listeners throughout the country and to hear their direct experiences of the big policy and political issues debated on Any Questions? I have admired Jonathan Dimbleby for many years and I take the stewardship of this wonderful programme very seriously indeed.”
Gwyneth Williams, Controller Radio 4, said: “I am delighted to welcome Anita as the new presenter of Any Answers? She knows her politics and is a tried and tested broadcaster who is interested in the lives and experiences of our listeners. Any Answers? is a cornerstone in the Radio 4 schedule – I can’t think of anyone better to work with Jonathan, who will continue to chair Any Questions? every week in his usual brilliant way.”
Any Answers? launched in 1954 to give listeners the chance to respond to the issues raised by politicians in sister programme Any Questions? It became a live phone-in show in 1989.