Robin Lustig

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Robin Lustig
Robin lustig chatham.jpg
Lustig in 2011
Born (1948-08-30) 30 August 1948 (age 69)
  • Journalist
  • presenter
Notable credit(s)

Robin Francis Lustig (born London 30 August 1948) is a British journalist and radio broadcaster, who has presented programmes for the BBC World Service and BBC Radio 4.


Lustig was born in Stoke Newington, London to Jewish refugees.[1] Fritz, his father, who had fled from Germany in 1939, was in the intelligence corps and a clandestine listener to German prisoners of war.[2] His mother, the former Susan Cohn, met his father at Wilton Park where they were both stationed during the second world war. "She did clerical work", the elder Lustig told The Jewish Chronicle in 2012, adding "women did not listen in – only men did".[1]

After graduating in politics from the University of Sussex, Lustig became a foreign correspondent in Madrid for the London-based news agency Reuters. He later moved to Paris and Rome in this capacity. He then worked for the British Sunday newspaper The Observer for twelve years, where he was Home Affairs Editor, Middle East Correspondent and Assistant Editor.

He joined the BBC in 1989, presenting programmes such as The World Tonight, Newsstand, Stop Press, and File on 4 for Radio 4, and Newshour on the BBC World Service. On 31 August 1997 Lustig presented a special news programme covering the sudden death of Diana, Princess of Wales, just hours after the announcement was made.[3] From its introduction in 1998 until 2006, he also presented the global phone-in programme Talking Point (later renamed Have Your Say), which was transmitted simultaneously on BBC World Service radio, BBC World TV and online. His guests on the programme included Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Olusegun Obasanjo, Hugo Chávez and Tony Blair.

He later concentrated on The World Tonight and Newshour, although he still presented special programmes on major occasions. For the BBC World Service he has presented every UK election night programme since 1997 as well as United States presidential election programmes in 2004 and 2008, and has reported on elections in many other countries including Iran, Israel, Japan, Russia and Zimbabwe. He has presented The World Tonight from more than 20 countries, including Afghanistan, China, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kosovo and Mexico.

Lustig has written and presented two documentary series for the BBC World Service: Looking for Democracy in 2005, and Generation Next in 2006.

In October 2011, he starred as himself in Julian Simpson's improvised radio play A Time to Dance, broadcast as BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Play.[4]

In September 2012, Lustig announced that he was to step down from his Radio 4 roles at the end of that year.[5] On 13 December, Lustig presented his final The World Tonight, and on 18 December his final Newshour.

In January 2017, Lustig's memoir, Is Anything Happening? (ISBN 978-1785901034), describing his career of over 40 years in journalism, was published by Biteback.[6]


In 1992, 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. In 1998, he won the Sony Silver Award for Talk/News Broadcaster of the Year. In 1999 he was described in The Times as "arguably the best news presenter anywhere in radio after John Humphrys". He was awarded Beard of the Year in 2012 presented by Beard Liberation Front.[7]

In 2013, he received the Charles Wheeler award for outstanding contribution to broadcast journalism.[8] The following year, he was named Comment Awards's independent blogger of the year for his blog Lustig's Letter.[9] In 2015, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Sussex.[10]


  1. ^ a b Rocker, Simon; Lipman, Jennifer (10 May 2012). "The Germans who bugged for Britain". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  2. ^ Lustig, Fritz; Wild, Jane (14 September 2012). "First Person: Fritz Lustig". Retrieved 18 December 2017. 
  3. ^ "10 Things You Did Not Know About Radio". Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  4. ^ A Time to Dance at BBC
  5. ^ "Radio 4 presenter Robin Lustig to step down". BBC News. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "Is Anything Happening?". Biteback Publishing. Retrieved 23 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Flett, Keith (28 December 2012). "BBC veteran Lustig beats cricketer Panesar for Beard of Year 2012". Beard Liberation Front. Retrieved 16 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Greenslade, Roy (5 June 2013). "Charles Wheeler award for Robin Lustig". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "The Comment Awards 2015". Comment Awards. 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Distinguished journalist to receive honorary degree from Sussex". University of Sussex. 14 July 2015. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 

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