Re­port­ing for duty

TV Times - - Interview - NEW FAC­TUAL Crimewatch MON­DAY / BBC1 / 9.00PM Emma Bul­limore

or more than three decades, po­lice forces have re­lied on a civil­ian ally to bring crim­i­nals to jus­tice – Crimewatch. With one in three ap­peals lead­ing to ar­rests, the show is in­valu­able.

Now the BBC1 se­ries is mov­ing from an oc­ca­sional to a weekly slot, with new pre­sen­ters Jeremy Vine and

Ra­dio 1 news­reader Tina Da­he­ley broad­cast­ing live from dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions around the coun­try.

For Jeremy, 51, whose head­line­grab­bing turn on last year’s Strictly is still talked about, Crimewatch is a show he’s watched re­li­giously and one that he can’t wait to host…

FWhen did you start watch­ing? When I was 19 and I don’t think

I’ve ever missed an episode; it’s part of my life. It’s a sign of a good show that Crimewatch has had rel­a­tively few pre­sen­ters [there have only been 10 reg­u­lar hosts in its 32year his­tory]. I’d like to host it for the next 40 to 50 years! Why is a weekly slot so im­por­tant? It’s go­ing to give us the op­por­tu­nity to make the pro­gramme re­ally pow­er­ful. You’ll know the time and day it’s on and it won’t be shifted around. It feels like the BBC is re-com­mit­ting to the show in a big way, which is ex­cit­ing.

Will you add tech­ni­cal wiz­ardry to re­con­struc­tions, as in the flashy graph­ics you use on elec­tion nights?

No, but it’s funny – for the last elec­tion we used video to make it look like I was walk­ing along Down­ing Street and it was so con­vinc­ing. It’s not be­yond the realms of imag­i­na­tion that Crimewatch will be able to use virtual re­al­ity en­vi­ron­ments for re­con­struc­tions in the fu­ture be­cause they are now as real as can be. I didn’t re­alise un­til

I got this job how in­tensely pro­duced those re­con­struc­tions are. They have to be very ac­cu­rate and a lot of hours go into them.

Do you worry you’ll find the show har­row­ing?

You get used to bad things when you work in news. Nick Ross [who pre­sented the show for 23 years, from 1984 to 2007] used to say, ‘Don’t have night­mares’. I al­ways felt that off­set a lot of the up­set­ting mo­ments in the pro­gramme. What is it about Crimewatch that makes peo­ple come for­ward with in­for­ma­tion?

It’s been around for a long time, so view­ers feel it can be trusted. It’s in­cred­i­bly pre­cious to have the trust of both the po­lice and the vic­tims.

Real-crime sto­ries, such as Net­flix’s Mak­ing a Mur­derer, are huge. How does Crimewatch com­pare?

It’s a dif­fer­ent pro­gramme, but it’s def­i­nitely the same kind of ter­ri­tory. We’re fas­ci­nated by the process – it’s not just the crime, but the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and the trial as well.

This is rather dif­fer­ent from Strictly!

Strictly was crazy – there was one time when I was stand­ing around in my pants wait­ing to get into a cow­boy out­fit and John Whit­ting­dale, the then Cul­ture Sec­re­tary, came in on a tour! There’s a sim­i­lar­ity with Crimewatch, though, in that both shows are very BBC – nei­ther would be the same on any other chan­nel.

New Crimewatch host Jeremy Vine on the ar­rest­ing de­vel­op­ment in his ca­reer

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