Evan Davis

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Evan Davis
Evan Davis (journalist), 2007.jpg
Davis in 2007
Evan Harold Davis

(1962-04-08) 8 April 1962 (age 59)
Alma mater
OccupationJournalist and TV presenter
Years active1986–present
Notable credit(s)
TitleEconomics Editor of BBC News (2001–2008)
Partner(s)Guillaume Baltz

Evan Harold Davis (born 8 April 1962) is an English economist, journalist, and presenter for the BBC. He has presented Dragons' Den since 2005.

In October 2001, Davis took over from Peter Jay as the BBC's economics editor. He left this post in April 2008 to become a presenter on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. In September 2014, he left Today to be the main presenter of Newsnight for four years. On 5 November 2018, Davis began presenting Radio 4's PM programme.[2]

Early life[edit]

Davis was born in Malvern, Worcestershire, to South African parents, Quintin Visser Davis and Hazel Noreen Davis.[1][3] He grew up in Ashtead, Surrey.[4] He attended Dorking County Grammar School, which in 1976 became The Ashcombe School, Dorking. Davis then gained a First in Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St John's College, Oxford, which he attended from 1981 to 1984, before obtaining a Master of Public Administration at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[5] While at Oxford University, he edited Cherwell, the student newspaper.

Early career[edit]

Davis began work as an economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and while there he was briefly seconded to help officials work on early development of the Community Charge system of local government taxation (better known as the Poll Tax).[6] In 1988 he moved to the London Business School, writing articles for their publication Business Strategy Review. He returned to the Institute for Fiscal Studies in 1992, writing a paper on "Britain, Europe and the Square Mile" for the European Policy Forum which argued that British financial prosperity depended on being seen as a bridgehead to the European Union.[7]

In 1993, Davis joined the BBC as an economics correspondent. He worked as economics editor on BBC Two's Newsnight programme from 1997 to 2001. In the mid-1990s he was a member of the Social Market Foundation's Advisory Council;[8] he is a member of the British-American Project for a Successor Generation.[9]


Economics editor[edit]

As the BBC's economics editor, Davis was responsible for reporting and analysing economic developments on a range of programmes on BBC radio and television, particularly the Ten O'Clock News. He also had a role in shaping the extensive BBC coverage of economics across all the corporation's outputs, including online.

Davis also wrote a blog for the BBC website entitled Evanomics in which he "attempts to understand the real world, using the tool kit of economics". Subjects he discussed included road pricing, care for the elderly, Gordon Brown's Budget and how to choose wine.

Davis has won several awards including the Work Foundation's Broadcast Journalist of the Year award in 1998, 2001 and 2003, and the Harold Wincott Business Broadcaster of the Year award in 2002. In 2008, Davis was ranked first in the Independent on Sunday's "pink list" of the hundred most influential gay and lesbian figures in British society.[10]

On 23 May 2005, Davis crossed picket lines during a day of industrial action by BBC staff over announced job cuts. Other notable broadcasters who turned up for work during the strike included Terry Wogan, Shelagh Fogarty and Declan Curry.[11][12] Davis was also noted for breaking a strike at the BBC, which had been called by the National Union of Journalists: on 6 November 2010, he arrived to present the Today Programme at 3:30am, along with fellow presenter Sarah Montague, although this was not technically crossing a picket line as they arrived before it was formed.[13][14]

Today programme[edit]

In mid-2007, Davis was a guest presenter on the Today programme for two weeks. In April 2008, he stood down as BBC Economics Editor to join the Today programme as a full-time presenter replacing Carolyn Quinn.[15][16] In 2009, Davis said that one of the best things about presenting on the radio is that "you can look things up on Wikipedia while on air".[17]

The Bottom Line programme[edit]

On top of his duties at Today, Davis also presents The Bottom Line. It is a weekly business discussion programme which generally includes three or four business leaders or entrepreneurs responding to several topical questions regarding business-related issues.[18] First aired in 2006, the programme is a co-production between BBC News and The Open University.[19][20][21] As of September 2013, The Bottom Line runs 26 weeks of the year in three series: at 8:30 pm on Thursdays on BBC Radio 4, with a repeat showing at 5:30 pm on Saturdays and a television recording at 9:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays on the BBC News Channel. The programme is broadcast internationally on the BBC World Service and BBC World News.[22]

Additionally, Davis presents Dragons' Den on BBC Two.[5]

In 2012, Davis presented Built in Britain which looked at the role of major infrastructure projects in the UK, including examining the impact of the M25 on the town of Ashtead in Surrey where he grew up.

In 2014, Davis presented a BBC Two series Mind the Gap: London vs the Rest in which he explored the economic forces in Britain and why the capital city is so dominant.[23]


On 21 July 2014, it was announced that Davis would replace Jeremy Paxman as presenter of Newsnight starting in autumn 2014.[24] His last appearance as a presenter on Today was 26 September 2014.[25]

In 2017 Davis was found to have breached BBC rules on due impartiality in coverage of the 2017 French presidential election on Newsnight, giving the impression that he favoured Emmanuel Macron over Marine Le Pen. The BBC Executive Complaints Unit ruled that Davis' approaches in back-to-back interviews with representatives of the Macron and le Pen campaigns was so marked as to constitute bias.[26][27]

After four years with Newsnight, it was announced that Davis would move on to become the presenter of the BBC Radio 4 PM programme.[28] His final show was broadcast on 30 October 2018.[29]

PM programme[edit]

Davis began presenting Radio 4's PM on 5 November 2018.[2]


Davis' first book, Public Spending, was published in 1998. In it he argued for the privatisation of public services as a means of increasing efficiency. Davis' second book, Made in Britain: How the Nation Earns Its Living, was published in May 2011. His third book, Post-Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It was published in May 2017.

Personal life[edit]

Davis lives in London with his partner Guillaume Baltz, a French landscape architect.[30][31][32] He is the owner of a whippet named Mr. Whippy.[33] Davis is a keen motorcyclist, and was seen riding a Yamaha R6 motorcycle in BBC Two's The City Uncovered.[34]

Honours and awards[edit]

Davis holds honorary degrees from the Open University;[35] City, University of London; Cardiff University,[36] Coventry University[37] and Aston University.[38]


  • Public Spending. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. 1998. ISBN 0-14-026446-9.
  • Made in Britain. London: Little, Brown and Company. 2011. ISBN 978-140-8703-304.
  • Post-Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It. London: Little, Brown and Company. 2017. ISBN 978-140-8703-311.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Gordon, Bryony (29 September 2014). "'Newsnight was not the plan. . . I'm so not Jeremy Paxman'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Evan Davis on succeeding Eddie Mair: 'There isn't a new vision to change PM'". Radio Times. 5 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Davis, Evan Harold (born 8 April 1962), Presenter, Newsnight, since 2014". Who's Who & Who Was Who. 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U42655. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4.
  4. ^ Himself, Built in Britain, BBC Documentary, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "Evan Davis". BBC News. 6 June 2008.
  6. ^ Butler, David; Adonis, Andrew; Travers, Tony (1994). Failure in British Government: The Politics of the Poll Tax. Oxford University Press. p. 81.
  7. ^ Davis, Evan (18 February 1993). "Europe is key to Britain's world role". The Times. London.
  8. ^ "In the market for ideas, Tony?". The Independent. London. 25 July 1994.
  9. ^ Pilger, John (13 January 2007). "How the Anglo-American elite shares its 'values'". Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2008.
  10. ^ "The IoS pink list 2008". The Independent on Sunday. 22 June 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2009.
  11. ^ O'Carroll, Lisa; Deans, Jason; Day, Julia (23 May 2005). "TV stars: why we crossed BBC picket line". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  12. ^ "BBC calls for talks amid strike". BBC News. 23 May 2005. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  13. ^ "BBC's top stars in bitter split over strike".
  14. ^ Cooper, Robert. "BBC strike ends but more are on the way".
  15. ^ "Dragons' Davis joins Today team". BBC News. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  16. ^ Dowell, Ben (21 November 2007). "Evan Davis joins Today". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  17. ^ "Top radio presenters and DJs: in pictures". The Guardian. London. 4 April 2009. Retrieved 4 April 2009.
  18. ^ "A smart way to boost the image of business". The Independent. London. 30 May 2012. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  19. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - The Bottom Line". BBC. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  20. ^ "The Bottom Line 2021". OpenLearn. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  21. ^ "RADIO CRITICS' CHOICE". Financial Times. 4 March 2006.
  22. ^ "4's Bottom Line goes global". RadioToday. 10 February 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
  23. ^ "Mind The Gap: London Vs The Rest". BBC – Media Centre. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  24. ^ "Evan Davis to replace Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight". BBC News. 21 July 2014.
  25. ^ "Evan Davis' final Today programme top tips". BBC News. 26 September 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  26. ^ "BBC - Complaints - Newsnight, BBC2, 21 April 2017: Finding by the Executive Complaints Unit".
  27. ^ Ruddick, Graham (16 November 2017). "Have I Got News for You where Jo Brand rebuked all-male panel tops complaints". The Guardian.
  28. ^ "Evan Davis to leave Newsnight and replace Eddie Mair as presenter of BBC Radio 4's PM". 20 September 2018.
  29. ^ Newsnight, B. B. C. (30 October 2018). "THREAD: It's Evan Davis's last night in the hot seat before he opts for the early nights and darker studios of Radio 4's PM. "Times right now are far from usual" – he said introducing his first Newsnight in September, 2014 What's changed eh? #newsnight | @EvanHDpic.twitter.com/WZKSzgjUp4". @bbcnewsnight. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  30. ^ Cadwalladr, Carole (6 November 2005). "Think of me as a man of mystery". The Observer. London. Retrieved 10 November 2008.
  31. ^ Millard, Rosie (6 July 2008). "Evan Davis: poster boy for the Noughties". The Sunday Times. London. Retrieved 5 August 2009.
  32. ^ Riley-Smith, Ben (2 April 2012). "Evan Davis: Quiet man of the airwaves bites back – Profiles – People". The Independent.
  33. ^ "Evan Davis: 'The talent all comes to London. It's extraordinary how sucking London is'". The Standard. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  34. ^ Davis, Evan (14 January 2009). "The rocket scientists of finance". BBC News. Evan Davis looks at how the desire of financial institutions to keep pushing profits higher have made them more vulnerable.
  35. ^ "Strategic Forum today at 10.30am". The Open University. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  36. ^ "Previous recipients". Cardiff University. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  37. ^ "Dragon Evan Davis to get honorary degree from Coventry University". Birmingham Post. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  38. ^ "Aston University celebrates graduates' success". Aston University. Archived from the original on 21 August 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2015.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Economics Editor: BBC News
2001 – 2008
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Today presenter
2007 – 2014
with John Humphrys, James Naughtie, Edward Stourton, Sarah Montague, Carolyn Quinn, Justin Webb, and Mishal Husain
Succeeded by
Preceded by
BBC's Newsnight presenter
2014 – present
with Kirsty Wark, Emily Maitlis and Laura Kuenssberg