The World At One

The World At One

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The World at One, or WATO ("what-oh") for short, is BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4
BBC Radio 4 is a British domestic radio station, operated and owned by the BBC, that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes, including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service in 1967. The station controller is currently Gwyneth Williams, and the...

's long-running lunchtime news and current affairs programme, which is broadcast from 1pm to 1:30pm from Monday to Friday. The programme describes itself as "Britain's leading political programme. With a reputation for rigorous and original investigation, it is required listening in Westminster". Because of the programme's nature it is often agenda setting, with interviews leading the headlines from lunchtime through to early evening. Beginning on the 7 November 2011, the programme has been extended in length to 45 minutes. This has meant the thirty minute programmes at one time broadcast immediately after "The World at One" (such as Brain of Britain
Brain of Britain
Brain of Britain is a BBC radio general knowledge quiz, broadcast on BBC Radio 4.-History:It began as a slot in What Do You Know? in 1953 before becoming a programme in its own right in 1967. It was chaired by Franklin Engelmann until his death in 1972.-Format:The format of the quiz is simple...

) have now found a new time slot on the Radio Four schedule. A fifteen minute programme now fills the gap till 2pm.

History


The programme began on 4 October 1965 on the (then) Home Service
BBC Home Service
The BBC Home Service was a British national radio station which broadcast from 1939 until 1967.-Development:Between the 1920s and the outbreak of The Second World War, the BBC had developed two nationwide radio services, the BBC National Programme and the BBC Regional Programme...

 and its launch is considered to have been key in making news programmes 'appointment to listen' broadcasting. As the then head of BBC Radio, Jenny Abramsky
Jenny Abramsky
Dame Jennifer Gita Abramsky, DBE is chairman of the UK's National Heritage Memorial Fund . The NHMF makes grants to preserve heritage of outstanding national importance. Until her retirement from the BBC Jenny Abramsky was its most senior woman employee; she was Director of Audio and Music...

, noted, the programme started at a time when the Today Programme
Today programme
Today is BBC Radio 4's long-running early morning news and current affairs programme, now broadcast from 6.00 am to 9.00 am Monday to Friday, and 7.00 am to 9.00 am on Saturdays. It is also the most popular programme on Radio 4 and one of the BBC's most popular programmes across its radio networks...

was still in a more comfortable magazine format. The World at One "broke new ground in news broadcasting and was one of the reasons why radio is still important today," helping establish a form of current affairs programme that influenced the creation of Newsnight
Newsnight
Newsnight is a BBC Television current affairs programme noted for its in-depth analysis and often robust cross-examination of senior politicians. Jeremy Paxman has been its main presenter for over two decades....

in 1980 and Channel 4 News
Channel 4 News
Channel 4 News is the news division of British television broadcaster Channel 4. It is produced by ITN, and has been in operation since the broadcaster's launch in 1982.-Channel 4 News:...

in 1982.

The first presenter, William Hardcastle
William Hardcastle (broadcaster)
William Hardcastle was a British journalist, editor of the Daily Mail and first presenter of the lunchtime news programme The World at One on BBC Radio....

, was a former editor of the Daily Mail
Daily Mail
The Daily Mail is a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper owned by the Daily Mail and General Trust. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom's second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. Its sister paper The Mail on Sunday was launched in 1982...

. The Radio Academy Hall of Fame says he "had a businesslike, but warm broadcasting voice, and a style that emphasised fact rather than comment, bringing some Fleet Street urgency to the radio presentation of news". Hardcastle did not want to do the programme every day so Andrew Boyle
Andrew Boyle
Andrew Philip More Boyle was a Scottish journalist and biographer. His biography of Brendan Bracken won the 1974 Whitbread Awards and his book The Climate of Treason exposed Anthony Blunt as the "Fourth Man" in the Cambridge Five Soviet spy ring.He was born in the Scottish city of Dundee and was...

 suggested he share the job with William Davis
William Davis (journalist)
William Davis, Knight, Order of Merit of Italian Republic, , is a journalist, broadcaster, editor, company director, and founder of the in-flight magazine High Life. In the early 1990s Davis became chairman of the British Tourist Authority and English Tourist Board...

 another presenter whose career did not wholly depend on the BBC.

In 1998, the then Controller of Radio 4, James Boyle
James Boyle (broadcasting)
James Boyle is one of the leading public figures in the British arts world with a long track record in broadcasting in particular. His take-no-prisoners style has earned him numerous plaudits, but also resulted in controversy, most famously at BBC Radio 4....

 reduced the duration of the programme from 40 to 30 minutes as part of a series of schedule changes.

The World at One is still known for its robust journalism - generally concentrating in depth on just 2 or 3 stories a day. After a short introduction to the programme, there is a 4 minute news bulletin, followed by serious political interviews and in-depth reports. Its audience reach has remained relatively constant in the past few years at approximately 3 million listeners.

Robin Day
Robin Day
Sir Robin Day, OBE was a British political broadcaster and commentator. His obituary in the Guardian stated that "he was the most outstanding television journalist of his generation...

, James Naughtie
James Naughtie
James Naughtie is a British radio presenter and radio news presenter for the BBC. Since 1994 he has been one of the main presenters of Radio 4's Today programme.- Biography :...

 and Nick Clarke
Nick Clarke
Nicholas Campbell Clarke , was an English radio and television presenter and journalist, primarily known for his work on BBC Radio 4....

 are amongst the list of previous presenters of the programme.

From late 2005, Shaun Ley
Shaun Ley
Shaun Ley is a British journalist and a presenter of The World This Weekend and The World at One on BBC Radio 4....

 presented the show while Clarke recovered from an operation to remove a cancer in his left leg. Clarke returned part-time in August 2006. Other stand-in presenters have included Brian Hanrahan
Brian Hanrahan
Brian Hanrahan was the Diplomatic Editor for BBC News and a well known correspondent. He also presented The World at One on BBC Radio Four and appeared on regular cover shifts on the rolling news channel BBC News 24...

, Guto Harri, Laura Trevelyan
Laura Trevelyan
Laura Trevelyan is a BBC journalist based in New York City. She was the BBC's United Nations correspondent from May 2006 until 2009.-Biography:...

, Stephen Sackur
Stephen Sackur
Stephen John Sackur is a BBC journalist who presents HARDtalk, a current affairs interview programme on BBC World News and BBC News 24. He is also the main Friday presenter of GMT on BBC World News...

, Carolyn Quinn
Carolyn Quinn
Carolyn Quinn is a British journalist best known for her work on BBC Radio 4 as a political correspondent and for presenting the Today programme and PM.-Early life:...

, James Robbins
James Robbins
James Robbins is the BBC's Diplomatic Correspondent, a post he has held since January 1998. He previously served as its Southern Africa Correspondent and its Europe Correspondent . He led the BBC's coverage of 9/11, making the first report on that evening's BBC Ten O'Clock News, a report lasting...

 and Mark Mardell
Mark Mardell
Mark Mardell is the North American Editor for BBC News. He has provided coverage for each United Kingdom general election since 1992.-Education:...

. The current main presenter is Martha Kearney
Martha Kearney
Martha Catherine Kearney is an Irish-born British broadcaster and journalist. She is the main presenter of BBC Radio 4's lunchtime news programme The World at One.-Early life:...

 - who presents from Monday to Thursday, with Ley usually in the chair on Friday.

The previous week's programmes can be listened to again using the BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer
BBC iPlayer, commonly shortened to iPlayer, is an internet television and radio service, developed by the BBC to extend its former RealPlayer-based and other streamed video clip content to include whole TV shows....

.

Many reporters and producers have spent some time working on the programme including Sue MacGregor
Sue MacGregor
Susan Katriona MacGregor CBE is a British writer and broadcaster.-Early life:Her parents were Scottish and emigrated to South Africa where she was brought up. Her father was a doctor, a neurologist who was in the British 14th Army in Burma in the Royal Army Medical Corps...

, Kirsty Wark
Kirsty Wark
Kirsteen Anne Wark is a British journalist and television presenter best known for fronting the BBC Two's news and current affairs programme Newsnight since 1993, and its weekly arts annexe Newsnight Review which is now relaunched as "The Review Show".-Biography:Wark was born in Dumfries to Jimmy...

, Charlie Lee-Potter, Jonathan Dimbleby
Jonathan Dimbleby
Jonathan Dimbleby is a British presenter of current affairs and political radio and television programmes, a political commentator and a writer. He is the son of Richard Dimbleby and younger brother of British TV presenter David Dimbleby.-Education:Dimbleby was educated at Charterhouse School, a...

, Roger Cook
Roger Cook (journalist)
Roger Cook is an investigative presenter, reporter and broadcaster.- Early life :His parents were New Zealanders, but he was was brought up in Australia, and began his career with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a reporter and newsreader on both radio and television.In 1968, he moved to...

, George Alagiah
George Alagiah
George Maxwell Alagiah OBE is a British newsreader, journalist and television news presenter.Since 3 December 2007, he has been the sole presenter of the BBC News at Six and has also been the main presenter of GMT on BBC World News since its launch on 1 February 2010...

, Jenny Abramsky, Roger Hearing
Roger Hearing
Roger Hearing is a journalist and news presenter with the BBC World Service. Currently he is one of the presenters of The World Today.Roger Hearing was born in London and brought up in west Dorset. His journalism career began with the Birmingham Post and he joined the BBC World Service in 1987...

, Sian Williams, Peter Biles, Kirsty Lang
Kirsty Lang
Kirsty Lang is a British journalist and broadcaster currently working for the BBC. Lang was raised in various parts of the world; her family were evacuated from Nigeria at the time of the Biafran war in 1967.-Career:...

, Martin Fewell, Shelagh Fogarty
Shelagh Fogarty
Shelagh Fogarty, born 13 January 1966 in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, is a radio and television presenter and journalist. She formerly hosted the BBC Radio 5 Live breakfast show with Nicky Campbell.-Early life:...

, David Jessel
David Jessel
David Jessel is a former British TV and radio news presenter; author; and campaigner against miscarriages of justice. From 2000 to 2010 he was also a commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission.-Background:...

, Nick Ross
Nick Ross
Nick Ross is a British radio and television presenter across a wide range of factual programmes and during the 1980s and 90s he was one of the most ubiquitous of British broadcasters, but he is best known for his long-running co-hosting of the BBC TV show Crimewatch which he left on 2 July 2007...

, Ben Bradshaw
Ben Bradshaw
Benjamin Peter James Bradshaw is a British Labour politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Exeter since 1997, and served in the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport....

, Juliet Bremner, Susannah Simons, Pallab Ghosh
Pallab Ghosh
Pallab Ghosh is a science correspondent for BBC News. Born in India, he came to the United Kingdom in 1963, he read physics at Imperial College, London between 1980 and 1983 and has been a science journalist since 1984...

 and Martha Kearney
Martha Kearney
Martha Catherine Kearney is an Irish-born British broadcaster and journalist. She is the main presenter of BBC Radio 4's lunchtime news programme The World at One.-Early life:...

.

On Tuesday November 15 2011, Wikipedia
Wikipedia
Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its 20 million articles have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world. Almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone with access to the site,...

 was discussed on the programme, featuring an interview between the programme's presenter and a leading manager of Wikipedia. Problems such as the male bias among Wikipedia editors were outlined. The person representing Wikipedia who was being interviewed described Wikipedia as being a bit of a nerdish site, and said that in this, it had something in common with the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 website.

Presenters

  • William Hardcastle
    William Hardcastle (broadcaster)
    William Hardcastle was a British journalist, editor of the Daily Mail and first presenter of the lunchtime news programme The World at One on BBC Radio....

     (1965–1975)
  • William Davis
    William Davis (journalist)
    William Davis, Knight, Order of Merit of Italian Republic, , is a journalist, broadcaster, editor, company director, and founder of the in-flight magazine High Life. In the early 1990s Davis became chairman of the British Tourist Authority and English Tourist Board...

     (1965–??)
  • Brian Widlake
    Brian Widlake
    Brian Widlake is a British journalist, broadcaster and presenter best known for co-presenting the BBC's Money Programme in the early 1980s with Valerie Singleton. He worked as a reporter for ITN in the 1960s and was a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4's news magazine programmes The World at One and...

  • David Jessel
    David Jessel
    David Jessel is a former British TV and radio news presenter; author; and campaigner against miscarriages of justice. From 2000 to 2010 he was also a commissioner of the Criminal Cases Review Commission.-Background:...

     (1970-1972)
  • Robert Williams
  • Sir Robin Day
    Robin Day
    Sir Robin Day, OBE was a British political broadcaster and commentator. His obituary in the Guardian stated that "he was the most outstanding television journalist of his generation...

     (1979–1987)
  • James Naughtie
    James Naughtie
    James Naughtie is a British radio presenter and radio news presenter for the BBC. Since 1994 he has been one of the main presenters of Radio 4's Today programme.- Biography :...

     (1988–1994)
  • Nick Clarke
    Nick Clarke
    Nicholas Campbell Clarke , was an English radio and television presenter and journalist, primarily known for his work on BBC Radio 4....

     (1994–2006)
  • Martha Kearney
    Martha Kearney
    Martha Catherine Kearney is an Irish-born British broadcaster and journalist. She is the main presenter of BBC Radio 4's lunchtime news programme The World at One.-Early life:...

     (2007–present)
  • Shaun Ley
    Shaun Ley
    Shaun Ley is a British journalist and a presenter of The World This Weekend and The World at One on BBC Radio 4....

     (2005-present)

Editors

  • Andrew Boyle (from 1965)
  • Julian Holland (1970s)
  • Jenny Abramsky (1981–1986)
  • Roger Mosey (1988–1993)
  • Kevin Marsh (1993–2002)
  • Richard Clark (2003–2004)
  • Colin Hancock (2004–2007)
  • Peter Rippon (2007–2008)
  • Jamie Angus (2009–2010)
  • Nick Sutton (2010-present)

See also

  • Today – Radio 4's early morning stablemate to The World at One.
  • PM
    PM (Radio 4)
    PM, sometimes referred to as the PM programme to avoid ambiguity, is BBC Radio 4's long-running early evening news and current affairs programme.-Broadcast times:...

    – Radio 4's early evening stablemate to The World at One.
  • The World Tonight
    The World Tonight
    The World Tonight is a British current affairs radio programme broadcast on BBC Radio 4, every weekday evening, which started out as an extension of the 10pm news. It features news, analysis and comment on domestic and world issues...

    – Radio 4's late evening stablemate to The World at One.
  • The World This Weekend
    The World This Weekend
    The World This Weekend was launched on 17 September 1967. It is a weekly news and current affairs programme broadcast from 1pm to 1:30pm on BBC Radio 4 every Sunday, essentially the Sunday version of The World at One....

    - Radio 4's Sunday stablemate to The World at One.

External links