Peter Allen (UK broadcaster)
|Peter Edwin Allen|
4 February 1946 |
Peter Edwin Allen (born 4 February 1946, Rochford) is an award-winning English radio broadcaster with 40 years' experience in journalism. He is the current presenter of BBC Radio 5 Live's Drive programme and has been with the station since it started in 1994.
Allen comes from Essex and attended the independent Brentwood School, alma mater of Jack Straw. At 18, he left school and started work with his local newspaper. He emigrated to Australia and worked for the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
Allen moved to radio in the 1970s, joining the newly launched news service for UK commercial radio, Independent Radio News. and while working at Westminster, he eventually became the network's political editor. He also worked at sister radio station, LBC the London news and talk station, as a presenter. Allen switched to television and was ITN political correspondent until 1992, when he was one of "a string of high-profile resignations" following the company's budget cuts. He left ITN to join London News Network.
On 1 March 1994, the BBC announced that Allen was to host its new Breakfast programme on BBC Radio 5 Live. In 1997, the Breakfast programme was extended by half an hour. Also in 1997 The Times described the "witty repartee" of Allen and co-presenter Jane Garvey as the best illustration of the station's tone, "friendly, informal, brisk, and mercifully, not terribly politically correct."
On 31 August 1997, Allen and James Naughtie hosted the BBC Radio coverage of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales which saw Radios 2, 3, 4 and 5 Live taking a single programme. This coverage won a Sony Award for best news event. During 13 years working together at Five Live, following Breakfast with Drive, Allen and Garvey won 6 Sony Awards including the gold award for news broadcaster of the year in 2002.
In 2007, the press, including The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, cited unnamed sources that Allen had been rejected as John Humphrys' replacement on Radio 4's Today programme because he was not "posh enough" and did not have an Oxbridge background. A BBC spokesperson responded, "The reason we are not commenting is that it is about whether or not someone went for a job that may or not exist. Consequently, we cannot really get into it."
Peter currently presents Radio 5's Drive programme for four days a week with Anna Walker, who joined him as co-host in May 2013. He also chairs conferences and hosts events and award ceremonies, as well as performing as an after dinner speaker. In July 2014, the BBC announced that he was moving to a morning slot for 3 days a week replacing Victoria Derbyshire who was leaving the station.
- 5 live Best Bits
- Henry, Georgina (9 November 1992). "Here is the news; ...and this is Trevor McDonald reading it. And making it, as News at Ten's first solo, American-style anchorman in place of the familiar double-act. But what's behind this change and all that hi-tech jazz?". The Guardian (Guardian Newspapers). p. 2.
- Wittstock, Melinda (13 October 1992). "After the break, trouble". The Times (Times Newspapers).
- Brown, Maggie (2 March 1994). "Media merger rules 'unfair' to small firms; TV regulator attacks two-franchise limit". The Independent (Newspaper Publishing). p. 6.
- Frean, Alexandra (23 April 1997). "Bringing politics a-Live". The Times (Times Newspapers).
- Lawson, Mark (31 August 1997). "The death of Diana; Sky and CNN were first, but a royal death is a BBC matter". The Guardian (Guardian Newspapers). p. 7.
- McCann, Paul (11 May 1998). "Media: Magic on the air at Radio Five". The Independent (Newspaper Publishing).
- Perthen, Amanda. BBC's golden couple split; One Show host Adrian Chiles and Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey break up after ten years of marriage, Mail on Sunday 29 June 2008.
- Wells, Matt (3 May 2002). "John Peel wins top radio accolade". The Guardian (Guardian Newspapers). p. 11.
- Adams, Stephen (1 Oct 2007). "Radio 5's Peter Allen 'too common' for Today". The Telegraph.
- Redmond, Camilla (2 October 2007). "Are the presenters of Today too posh?". The Guardian.
- OLIVER, JONATHAN (29 September 2007). "BBC Oxbridge snobs stop radio star presenting Today programme 'because he is an Essex boy'". Daily Mail.