In September 2019 John Humphrys left the Radio 4 Today programme after 32 years of forensically grilling figures in authority. As a presenter, he inspires love and loathing in equal measure. The Observer’s television critic once wrote that if he ever found himself sitting next to Humphrys at a dinner party he would probably drive a fork through his hand. The Tory politician Jonathan Aitken accused him of ‘poisoning the well of democratic debate’, a comment which prompted an outburst of support for Humphrys, with the Daily Mail describing him as ‘one of the most brilliant journalists in the country’.
In autumn 2019, as Humphrys stepped down after 32 years at Today and published a long-awaited memoir, A Day Like Today, he came to the Intelligence Squared stage to give an exclusive, behind-the-scenes account of his extraordinary career.
Turning the tables on him and pitching the questions was his former Today colleague Justin Webb.