The World Tonight
- This newscast should not be confused with the Philippines newscast of the same name.
|Genre||News, current events, and factual|
|Running time||45 minutes weekdays from 10pm|
|Home station||BBC Radio 4|
|Recording studio||BBC Television Centre (until Dec 2012)
(Dec 2012 onwards)
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. Since the departure of Robin Lustig on 13 December 2012, Ritula Shah remains the only main presenter. The BBC is yet to announce Lustig's replacement. The programme makes frequent use of other presenters, including David Eades, Roger Hearing, Samira Ahmed, Philippa Thomas and Felicity Evans.
The World Tonight was introduced following the changes at Broadcasting House which ushered in Radio 1, to create "the serious current affairs programme of the day" on the new Radio 4, as one survivor recalls.
Broadcast live at 10 pm, as now, but initially for only thirty minutes, its tone was set by presenter, Douglas Stuart, a former Washington and Bonn correspondent for the BBC. The first edition contained interviews on Northern Ireland and relations between West Germany and the United States. Later that week, ideas for better government in Scotland and peace in the Middle East were featured.
Its focus on international news was set early on by events in Washington surrounding Watergate. The US time zone (five hours behind the UK) meant that the programme could bring up to the minute developments at 10 pm. Its first reporters came from within the ranks of the programme's own producers, which meant that packages or features were cut from a different cloth than standard news reports. Today's World Tonight reporters may not have come from the same stable but the emphasis on perceptive, contextual reporting has remained.
Key to the programme's reputation for authoritative coverage has been the distinguished presenters, all with strong journalistic credentials, including John Tusa, Anthony Howard, Richard Kershaw, Isabel Hilton and Robin Lustig.
Other names to have graduated from the ranks of The World Tonight include Dominic Lawson, former editor of The Sunday Telegraph, Jim Gray, Editor of Channel 4 News, Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian and Henry Kelly.
One thing veterans recall was the traditionally 'relaxed' figure of the Editor. The laisser faire approach of the boss over the years created a culture in which Output Editors, responsible for daily editions, were able to take risks, some of which have led to notable scoops; such as the predicted arrest on war crimes charges of General Augusto Pinochet in 1998.
Although it has been a staple of the Radio 4 schedule for nearly four decades The World Tonight has stood the test of time. The latest figures available in 2013 show that it retains a loyal following of 1.75m listeners, representing 17.8% of the national radio audience at 10pm.
|2009-present||Ritula Shah||Main presenter|
|?–present||David Eades||Regular relief presenter|
|?–present||Samira Ahmed||Occasional relief presenter|
- Jane Hill - occasional presenter
- Jackie Hardgrave
- Claire Bolderson - regular presenter: 1999-2009
- Julian Worricker - occasional presenter
- Isabel Hilton - main presenter: 1995-1998
- David Sells
- Richard Kershaw
- Robin Lustig - main presenter: 1989–2012
- Alexander Macleod
- Anthony Howard
- John Morgan
- John Tusa
- Douglas Stuart
- Justin Webb - 1997-1998
- Alistair Burnett (Current)
- David Stevenson (Acting Editor for 2 years)
- Prue Keely
- Prue Keely & Jenni Russell (Joint Editors)
- Ann Koch
- Margaret Budy
- Blair Thompson
- Ken Goudie
- Beth McLeod
- Paul Moss
- Jonty Bloom, The World Tonight's economics and Europe correspondent.
- In 2011, The World Tonight was nominated for a Sony award for Best News & Current Affairs Programme.
- In 2009, Jonty Bloom won the Royal Statistical Society award for Statistical Excellence in Journalism.
- In 2006, Paul Moss won the Foreign Press Association's award for Environment Story of the Year for his reports on the environmental impact of India's economic growth
- In 2006 & 2004 Jonty Bloom's reporting on business and economics won the World Tonight the Wincott Foundation award, for radio programme of the year.
- In 1998, Robin Lustig won a Sony Silver award as Talk/News Broadcaster of the Year.
- In 1992, Robin Lustig was awarded a Gold Medal at the New York Radio Festival for a special edition of The World Tonight broadcast live from Moscow on the last day of the Soviet Union
- Today, Radio 4's early morning stablemate to the World Tonight programme.
- The World At One, Radio 4's lunchtime stablemate to the World Tonight Programme.
- PM, Radio 4's early evening stablemate to the World Tonight programme.
- The World Tonight at BBC Programmes
- Official Programme Twitter Feed
- Official Programme Facebook Group
- Alistair Burnett's Editors Blog
- The World Tonight's Photostream on Flickr
- The Secret of Radio 4's Success, The Telegraph
- Television for Grown-ups, The Guardian
- Robin Lustig: My Life in the Media, The Independent