Eddie Mair

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Eddie Mair
Mair in 2009
Born (1965-11-12) 12 November 1965 (age 58)
Dundee, Scotland
Occupation(s)Journalist, presenter, political commentator
Notable credit(s)PM
The World
Eddie Mair Live

Andrew Marr Show
PartnerPaul Kerley

Eddie Mair (born 12 November 1965) is a Scottish former broadcaster who was a presenter on BBC radio and television.[1] He presented his show on LBC between 4pm and 6pm every weekday until his last one, on 18 August 2022, after which he retired from broadcasting. He also hosted BBC Radio 4's daily news magazine PM, the Radio 4 Saturday iPM, and NewsPod. He occasionally presented Newsnight and Any Questions. Mair became a stand-in presenter for The Andrew Marr Show following Marr's stroke. Mair left the BBC in August 2018.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Mair was born in Dundee.[4] His amateur broadcasting career is reported to have started by using the public address system in his school, Whitfield High School, (now Braeview Academy School) in the Dundee housing scheme, Whitfield.[5][6]


Mair's professional career began after he rejected a university place in order to present on Radio Tay, a local Dundee station.[6]

Mair joined the BBC in 1987 as a sub-editor for Radio Scotland.[7] He moved on to present Good Morning Scotland and Reporting Scotland, then Eddie Mair Live in the mid-morning slot for Radio Scotland. In 1993, he hosted Breakaway, the weekly 'travel and leisure' programme on BBC Radio 4. He then joined Radio Five Live when it began in 1994 presenting the Midday with Mair news show.[7] From 1996 to 2000, he presented the BBC/PRI programme The World.[8]

Mair was the host of the Sunday current affairs programme Broadcasting House from its launch in April 1998, until 2003, when he took over PM and Fi Glover became presenter of the weekly show. On both programmes, Mair mixed serious journalism with witty and satirical commentary. After reading out the weather forecast, he would invariably encourage listeners with a jaunty "Do wrap up", whether the forecast was cold or warm.[9]

After Nick Clarke died in 2006, Mair substituted for Jonathan Dimbleby as the presenter of Any Questions. Standing in for Andrew Marr on his Sunday morning show on 24 March 2013, Mair interviewed London Mayor Boris Johnson asking critical questions about past known misdeeds such as lying to a minister and commenting: "you're a nasty piece of work". Patrick Wintour in The Guardian commented that "Johnson's reputation had taken a severe pounding",[10] while Dan Hodges in his Telegraph blog thought Mair's approach was a "disgrace".[11] Johnson himself said that Mair had done a "splendid job".[12]

Mair has also presented Newsnight on BBC Two and The 7 O'Clock News on BBC Three.[7]

On PM, Mair had a long-running on-air feud – real or simulated – with Robert Peston, the BBC's former Economics Editor.[13] For leap day in 2012, Peston co-hosted the PM programme with Mair,[14] and, in 2015, they co-hosted the show "The Robert Peston Interview Show (With Eddie Mair)"[15]

Mair was the original host of the 2003 BBC Two series Time Commanders. From 27 to 30 October 2014, Mair guest presented four editions of The One Show with Alex Jones on BBC One.[16]

On 29 February 2016, to the accompaniment of Nat 'King' Cole playing Let There Be Love, Valerie Singleton proposed marriage to Mair live on Radio 4's PM programme, in line with the tradition that women may propose marriage on one day only – 29 February. In the same spirit of gentle humour, he promised to think about it and give her an answer in 2020.[17]

Mair's BBC earnings were between £300,000 and £350,000 for the 2016-17 financial year.[18] The Guardian reported that he refused to take an earnings cut as part of the BBC's gender equality adjustments made in 2017 and 2018.[3] Mair denied this, writing in Radio Times, "None of my thinking has been influenced by the BBC's pay problems. I'd offered, in writing, to take a cut. It tickled me to read sometimes that I was apparently refusing. The first article appeared before we'd even discussed pay, and later it was said I was staying off work in some kind of protest: in fact, as RT [Radio Times] readers know, I was in hospital trying to avoid sepsis."[19] His autobiography A Good Face for Radio : Confessions of a Radio Head was first published in 2017.[1]

Mair was also the initial presenter of the BBC's podcast about the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, up until part 48 of the podcast,[20] which in May 2021 was still reporting on the inquiry about the fire in Grenfell Tower in London. Starting from part 49, Mair was no longer presenting this podcast.[21]

On 1 July 2018, Mair announced that he would depart the BBC, presenting his last PM show on 17 August 2018.[3][22] On the following day it was announced that Mair would be joining LBC, and that his first show for the station would be broadcast in September 2018.[23] In fact, Mair presented his final PM show on 8 August 2018, although he did not acknowledge this during the broadcast.[2] The next day, Mair emailed the PM team to say:

"[...] I want to tell you about what happened just after PM finished last night. As you may know, we finished the show with a full rendition by Willie Nelson of 'Bring Me Sunshine'. It was, in keeping with the tradition of PM, a suggestion by a listener. Making the show yesterday had been tortuous for everyone on a quiet news day but in the end, I think we made something pretty good. Eloise and I looked at each other after the meeting and agreed that there was no way to match that for a last Eddie programme. So, that's what it was…my last PM. It felt right then and it feels right now. No fuss or faff, just as I wanted. Genuinely unplanned, and with its origins in a listener idea. Perfect. Or as close to perfect as we're likely to get. I hate saying goodboo. Sorry…goodbee. No…goodbiy. Dammit. I still can't say it."[2]

In August 2018 it was announced Mair was to take over the drivetime show on LBC from Iain Dale after he moved to evenings in a new autumn schedule for the station. On 3 September 2018, he started to present the show, Monday – Friday 4–6pm.

On 24 March 2022, Mair announced his intention to retire from LBC that coming August. He presented his last LBC show on 18 August 2022.[24]


In 2005, Mair won the News Journalist award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards.[25] He has also won a Sony Award for Speech Broadcaster of the Year, one for Best Breakfast Show, and was nominated for two Sony awards for Midday with Mair on 5 Live.[7]

In 2012, Eddie won a Gold award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards for his interview with Julie Nicholson, who lost her daughter Jenny in the London bombings of 7 July 2005.[26] The PM programme also won a Gold award the same year for its coverage of Hosni Mubarak's resignation as president of Egypt.

Mair was listed as the fifth most powerful person in British radio in a 2005 poll in the Radio Times,[27] and 28th most influential LGBT person in The Independent on Sunday's Pink List 2013.[28]


  1. ^ a b Mair, Eddie (2017). A Good Face for Radio: Confessions of a Radio Head. ISBN 9781408710678. OCLC 1004823777.
  2. ^ a b c "Eddie Mair leaves the BBC with 'no fuss or faff'". BBC News. 9 August 2018. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Booth, Robert; Waterson, Jim (1 July 2018). "Eddie Mair to leave BBC after 30 years". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  4. ^ Clements, Chris (14 January 2015). "Scots radio host Eddie Mair: I had to give up the booze after two-day hangovers and slurred chats with cabbies". The Daily Record. Retrieved 27 December 2020.
  5. ^ Benedictus, Leo (25 March 2013). "Eddie Mair: a rising BBC star". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  6. ^ a b Laing, Allan (25 April 1998). "Radio's new air force". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d "BBC Radio 4 – PM – Eddie Mair". BBC. Archived from the original on 15 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  8. ^ "Where are they now?". The World. Archived from the original on 22 February 2006.
  9. ^ Clarke, Nick (12 November 2003). "Up the injunction". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 July 2023.
  10. ^ Wintour, Patrick (24 March 2013). "Boris Johnson caught in bicycle crash of an interview with Eddie Mair". The Guardian.
  11. ^ Hodges, Dan (24 March 2013). "Boris Johnson's Eddie Mair interview: if Boris's private life is fair game, then so is everybody else's". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 27 March 2013.
  12. ^ Plunkett, John (25 March 2013). "Boris Johnson's father: BBC interview was 'disgusting' journalism". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  13. ^ Alleyne, Richard (17 November 2011). "Feud between Robert Peston and Eddie Mair erupts on Radio 4 PM programme". The Daily Telegraph.
  14. ^ Wardrop, Murray (29 February 2012). "Robert Peston and Eddie Mair call truce on PM programme". The Daily Telegraph.
  15. ^ "The Robert Peston Interview Show (With Eddie Mair)". BBC. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  16. ^ "The One Show 27/10/2014". BBC. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  17. ^ PM, BBC Radio 4, 29 February 2016.
  18. ^ "How much the BBC pays its stars". BBC News. 19 July 2017. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  19. ^ Mair, Eddie (7 July 2018). "Eddie Mair explains his decision to leave the BBC: "None of my thinking has been influenced by pay problems"". Radio Times. Retrieved 9 August 2018.
  20. ^ Grenfell Tower Inquiry Podcast part 48, published 3 August 2018, retrieved 20 May 2021
  21. ^ Grenfell Tower Inquiry Podcast part 49, published 31 August 2018, retrieved 20 May 2021
  22. ^ "Radio 4 presenter Eddie Mair to leave BBC". BBC News. 1 July 2018.
  23. ^ Mayhew, Freddie (2 July 2018). "PM presenter Eddie Mair leaving BBC after 30 years to join LBC talk radio". Press Gazette. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  24. ^ "Eddie Mair to Retire". Global. 24 March 2022. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  25. ^ Owen Gibson (10 May 2005). "Indie DJ wins hat-trick at Sony awards". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  26. ^ "Eddie Mair's 'poignant and memorable' interview with Julie Nicholson". BBC. 21 May 2012.
  27. ^ "Ross 'is radio's most powerful'". BBC News. 6 June 2005. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  28. ^ "On Sunday's Pink List 2013". The Independent. London. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2014.

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