Jeremy Vine on Five

Jeremy Vine may be tak­ing over Chan­nel 5's daily cur­rent af­fairs pro­gramme ­ but fans needn't worry they'll miss The Wright Stuff. It's much of the same show, he tells Gemma Dunn

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - MED TV GUIDE -

Jeremy Vine is mulling over the ti­tle of his new show.

It's been in talks ever since he was an­nounced as the pre­sen­ter of Chan­nel 5's new daily cur­rent af­fairs pro­gramme, back in June, fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of Matthew Wright.

"You know, it's so funny, we had, I think, 34 dif­fer­ent pos­si­ble names, and we ended up with the one which was ' Jeremy Vine'," ad­mits the TV and ra­dio broad­caster, 53.

What else was at play? "Well, 'Vine o'clock', 'Vine at nine' ­ but the trou­ble is, it's not at nine ­ 'Show with Vine', ' Vine in the morn­ing', ' Vine in the af­ter­noon'. Ev­ery sin­gle pos­si­ble name!" he quips.

"And there's noth­ing that rhymes with Jeremy!" he ar­gues.

"So in the end the whole thing just dis­solved into my name, and I thought it was a beau­ti­ful mo­ment ac­tu­ally."

He re­calls the point at which some­one showed him the new show graphic with his name on.

"I thought ' OK, this is real now'," he re­mem­bers.

"So there's some­thing joy­ous about hav­ing one's name in the ti­tle of a show. But when your name ac­tu­ally is the ti­tle of the show, then that is strange."

Vine, who joined the BBC in 1987 and has since been an in­te­gral player at the broad­caster, will host the muchloved live show, which tack­les the big­gest news, is­sues and sto­ries from around the UK, trans­mit­ting for 120 min­utes ev­ery morn­ing.

And he's the first to ad­mit tak­ing over from his pre­de­ces­sor Wright, who was at the helm of 18 suc­cess­ful years in The Wright Stuff stu­dio, is an "in­tim­i­dat­ing" prospect.

"Matthew was very, very, very good at what he did, and he brought the show from noth­ing over 18 years to some­thing where it's to­tally a fix­ture in the TV land­scape," rea­sons the Sur­rey­born star.

"But I'm very ex­cited about join­ing Chan­nel 5 be­cause it's just been mor­ph­ing into some­thing that's re­ally ex­cit­ing," he adds.

"I mean peo­ple who don't know it wouldn't ex­pect, for ex­am­ple, Michael Palin to be on it do­ing a doc­u­men­tary on North Korea; Jane McDon­ald, all the bril­liant stuff that she does; and Suzan­nah Lip­scomb to be do­ing his­tory now.

"So it's go­ing to be just fun," he says sim­ply. "The guy who runs Chan­nel 5, Ben Frow, I went to see him, and he said, 'I just want you to en­joy your­self'. And I thought, ' God, what a lovely thing for your new em­ployer to say'."

Has he re­ceived any ad­vice from Wright, him­self ?

"Do you know, I haven't spo­ken to him since [but] I'm hop­ing to have a chat with him at some point," he con­fides.

"I felt a bit wary of ring­ing him be­cause I thought he prob­a­bly just didn't want to have the con­ver­sa­tion," Vine fol­lows.

"But he's left his jack­ets in the dress­ing room, and they al­most fit me, so if he doesn't get them, I might con­sider putting them on," he jokes.

"But no, I will give him a ring. I've al­ways got on well with him, I just don't know him that well."

Back to his show, then. And Vine, who also presents Eggheads, is adamant that long­time fans will recog­nise his show from its fore­run­ner.

"We are go­ing to be strain­ing at the be­gin­ning to show peo­ple how it con­tin­ues from what Matthew's left," he in­sists.

"So the show, the set and the for­mat, even some of the pan­el­lists, and the story choices and the ed­i­to­rial...

"When you've got a very suc­cess­ful prod­uct, you don't want to be chop­ping and chang­ing," he re­alises.

"I think that can some­times be quite desta­bil­is­ing, so I would say to peo­ple who watch it, 'Come and join us on Septem­ber 3 and you'll find it's still there'. The same show."

Con­tent­wise, Vine, who will con­tinue his reign as the host of his pop­u­lar week­day Ra­dio 2 show in ad­di­tion to this ap­point­ment, will flit be­tween the im­por­tant is­sues which get peo­ple talk­ing and the less­se­ri­ous sub­jects which make peo­ple smile.

"It's funny I just brought in my Ra­dio 2 menu from today," he tells.

"So it's: Jeremy Cor­byn an­ti­Semitism; be­ing mugged in a place you know and love, where you can't go back to the park any­more; the doc­tor who got man­slaugh­ter, should she prac­tise again?; the pen­sioner who said there were too many Span­ ish peo­ple in Benidorm..." he says, reel­ing off the list in his hand.

"And I thought, ' That's an ab­so­lute clas­sic. You could do all of those on Chan­nel 5, and it's just one story will def­i­nitely leave you laugh­ing, and one story will prob­a­bly leave you cry­ing.

"But it's just en­joy­ing the ar­gu­ment," he in­sists. "We're quite an ar­gu­men­ta­tive coun­try.

"And in a way I think that's how we rub along with each other, we dis­cuss ev­ery­thing we talk about, ev­ery­thing we ar­gue about, and this show is part of that."

Of course, guest stars will help rally the de­bate. But who would Vine like to see on the show?

"The per­fect guest for me won't be avail­able be­cause I've wanted to in­ter­view him for years, but maybe he'll read this," be­gins Vine, who shares two daugh­ters with his jour­nal­ist wife, Rachel Schofield.

"It's the guy who crossed the tightrope be­tween the Twin Tow­ers, fea­tured in the film Man On Wire. Philippe Pe­tit was his name.

"When­ever we have some­one in Ra­dio 2 on work ex­pe­ri­ence and they say, ' What can I do?' I say, ' If you can book him, you can end up work­ing here'. So yeah, if we can get him for the first week that would be lovely!

"It would also be nice to do Theresa May; she's not very vis­i­ble at the mo­ment in in­ter­views and I think part of that is they're mid­ne­go­ti­a­tions and they have to keep their cards close to their chest.

"But the news is just full of amaz­ing peo­ple," he notes.

"I mean, who was the per­son the other day who com­plained that one of the beaches in Corn­wall was no good be­cause it was too wet? Why not get them on?" he asks. "There's a never­end­ing sup­ply."

Jeremy Vine launches on Chan­nel 5 on Mon­day Septem­ber 3.

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