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31 January 1959
|Known for||LBC 97.3|
Nicolo Ferrari (born 31 January 1959) is a British journalist and radio and television presenter. He is best known as the host of the weekday breakfast show on the London-based radio station LBC. He also has a regular column in the Sunday Express and was previously a regular guest on The Alan Titchmarsh Show. He regularly appears on This Morning and has presented the Sky News debate show The Pledge since 2013.
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His father Lino "Dan" Ferrari, ran a news agency, Ferrari Press Agency, and Nick was keen to work in the media himself. It is claimed in an Independent newspaper article that he was educated at Eltham College a private school for boys in Mottingham in southeast London. However, whilst hosting an evening phone-in on LBC Radio in London England on Monday 27 November[when?], Ferrari stated categorically to listeners across the UK that he did not go to Eltham College. He was asked by a caller who was calling regarding the Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Markle.
Despite a keen interest in journalism, Ferrari initially wanted to become a vet and only changed career path after meeting Norman Scott though his father. He later turned down the option to study at Cambridge to join a local newspaper.
Ferrari became a news reporter on the Sunday Mirror in 1981 and subsequently a show business reporter at The Sun and editor of the paper's "Bizarre" gossip page. During this period, he interviewed Roger Moore on the set of the James Bond film Octopussy for The Sun and appeared as an extra in the movie. Subsequently he became features editor of the News of the World's Sunday magazine and assistant editor of the Daily Mirror. A friend of former The Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, Ferrari joined him at L!VE TV where he devised such programmes as Topless Darts, the News Bunny and the weather presented by a dwarf on a trampoline.
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Ferrari joined Talk Radio in 1999 as co-presenter of the 'Big Boys Breakfast' show with David Banks, shortly after the station was purchased by former colleague Kelvin MacKenzie in 1998. The show was scheduled between 6am and 9am and focused on entertainment rather than news content . In late 1999 it was announced that the show would be cancelled as part of the relaunch of Talk Radio as Talk Sport to focus entirely on sports content .
In 2001 Ferrari presented his first breakfast program on LBC, taking on the role officially in 2004 . The programme runs from 7am to 10am and takes the format of a news and political debate and discussion show with the presenter introducing topics and then discussing them with both members of the public and experts, through text messaging, email and phone, with the last of the three being the main mode of contact. The programme mixes both light entertainment stories and more serious topics in the news. Ferrari frequently asks first-time callers which station they previously listened to, rejoicing when they have deserted BBC Radio 4, BBC London 94.9 or rival station Capital FM. Ferrari is also known for deliberately not mentioning the phone number to call the programme whilst presenting as he believes it is an unnatural way to speak to listeners.
In the run up to the 2017 General Election an interview with Diane Abbott on Ferrari's show made national headlines after she struggled to provide figures for police policy. When questioned on the policy Abbott stated 10,000 police officers would cost £300,000, before correcting herself to £80 million. Ferrari questioned further on this figure and pointed out that it would only allow for paying each police officer £8,000. In a subsequent article Ferrari stated that he had banned Dianne Abbott from his show due to her failing to appear for previous scheduled interviews and had only allowed her to feature to aid the balance of subjects interviewed on the programme. Later the same day BBC Daily Politics replayed the interview to Abbott where she defended her performance; "I did seven interviews this morning. In that seventh interview I misspoke". Ferrari was awarded the 2018 IRN Best Interview award for his role in interviewing Diane Abbott where judges praised him for "[representing] the role of listeners and voter brilliantly".
The show received the Sony Breakfast Show of the Year award in 2006 as well as the Arqiva Breakfast Show of the year in 2010. Ferrari has also been awarded the Sony Speech Broadcaster of the year in 2009 and the Arqiva Gold Award in 2010 for "outstanding contribution to the industry over the last twelve months".
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Aside from radio, Ferrari regularly appeared as a commentator on The Alan Titchmarsh Show on ITV, on The Pledge on Sky News and previously Channel 4's Richard & Judy and guested on breakfast television magazine GMTV. In early 2003, following his appointment as editor of the proposed local newspaper the London Evening Mail, he made a series of appearances on local evening news programmes London Tonight and BBC London News. However, in November of that year Ferrari was offered the breakfast show on LBC 97.3 (effective January 2004) and subsequently stepped down as the newspaper's editor. As a result, the attention awarded him by London regional programmes declined and he now makes far fewer appearances on those shows.
Ferrari presented the discussion programme Forum on Press TV, an Iranian news channel. He quit his show on the station on 30 June 2009 in protest at the reporting of the Iranian presidential election on 12 June 2009. 
Throughout 2004 and 2005, Ferrari developed his own one-man stage show consisting largely of anecdotes about his family and the various jobs he's held over the years, jokes, audience interaction and the occasional guest appearance, including Carol Thatcher (a regular on his show). The show played at various theatres across the capital and as far out as Radlett, and came to a close on 16 December 2005 at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon. He vowed not to repeat it, but later launched a new series of theatre appearances to promote his book The World According to Nick Ferrari. On 10 March 2006 he appeared on ITN's The Pulse, which lets the viewing public discuss a topic of the day; on this day it was silly laws.
In 2006, Ferrari also made an appearance on the BBC/HBO comedy show Extras in the show's second series. He played the part of himself as a phone-in radio presenter set in LBC 97.3 studios. From February 2008, Ferrari became a regular guest on a new ITV political show called London Talking with Konnie Huq as host, and featuring Vanessa Feltz. On 29 June 2008, Ferrari covered the Salute to Israel march and rally in London's Trafalgar Square, which celebrated the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel, attended by over 40,000 people. On 19 November 2009 he appeared as a panelist on the BBC's Question Time in Leicester. On 10 March 2011, he appeared again on Question Time, this time in Edinburgh He further appeared on Question Time on 24 January 2019. He has appeared as a commentator on BBC One's Politics Show. He presents After The News on ITV.
It was suggested in June 2006 by Conservative leader David Cameron that, if he joined the Conservative Party and put himself forward, Ferrari could win the ballot to be the party's candidate for Mayor of London. Ferrari indicated, however, that he would not stand, as he "did not want to leave the listeners" and joked that he "couldn't take the pay cut". Later, he began to see merit in the idea and discussed what policies he might introduce should he become Mayor: amongst these were re-introducing the AEC Routemaster buses (with various modifications so that they would conform to disability and environmental laws) and scrapping the Mercedes-Benz "Bendy Buses" and, more controversially, putting a large levy on trainers in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic Games and doubling income tax on Human Rights lawyers. Ferrari later indicated that he would not stand as the Conservative candidate, a role that was taken by Boris Johnson.
In 2003, the Broadcasting Standards Commission upheld a complaint against Ferrari, finding that his programme's "active reinforcement of prejudiced views about asylum seekers had exceeded acceptable boundaries for transmission". Following this, and at a time of frosty relations between Ferrari and the former Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, the Mayor wrote to the Managing Director of LBC 97.3 asking what measures had been implemented to ensure the situation would not arise again. Following this, Livingstone appeared regularly on Ferrari's programme to answer questions from listeners.
In 2013, Ferrari conducted an interview with Boris Johnson which ended with a small section of IQ test questions. Ferrari asked "A man built a house with four sides of rectangular construction each having a southern exposure. A big bear comes along; what colour is the bear?" Johnson incorrectly answered, "The bear is probably brown, I don't have a clue what colour the bear is, this is irrelevant to the discussion." Ferrari then corrected that it was "White, because the bear is on the South Pole." This was later shown also to be incorrect: a construction with all southern-facing walls would actually be at the North Pole and there are no known polar bears at the South Pole.
In 2015, Ferrari was investigated by Ofcom after he said on his radio programme that the November 2015 Paris attacks were "a Muslim problem" and told a Muslim caller to "go some place else" if the caller didn't agree with UK foreign policy. Ofcom found Ferrari not in breach of any broadcasting rules, saying "We found the caller was given an opportunity to rebuke Mr Ferrari's offensive comments, while two other callers also challenged Ferrari in strong terms. In addition, the presenter made clear that he was not characterising all Muslims as extremists or criminals".
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