Created by John Birt not long after he moved to LWT, the series was broadcast on the ITV network at lunchtimes on Sundays. Produced by Nick Elliott and David Elstein, it began by mirroring CBS's "60 Minutes" featuring several stories each week but gradually devolved into a show that featured a forensic interview with a major political figure each week.
The original reporter/researcher staff included Yvonne Roberts, Monica Foot, Christopher Hitchens, Julian Mounter, Paul Flattery, Mike Englehard, Jane Hewland, Julian Norris and Nelson Mews, who were later joined by Peter Martin and David Cox.
It was presented by Peter Jay initially when first broadcast in 1972, but was best-remembered for being anchored by former Labour MP Brian Walden between 1977 and 1986. Conservative MP Matthew Parris took over in 1986, resigning his seat, and presented the programme until the series ended in 1988. Walden in particular gained a reputation for "grilling" his interviewees over an extended interview in a manner that has only occasionally been seen on British television since. Parris, on the other hand, was largely criticised for his lighter and more laid-back style.
- That was reality TV, that was, an article by Gerard Baker in the Financial Times, published Oct 07, 2002