Today saw the return of the long-running comedy panel show on BBC Radio 4 – The News Quiz. But it was missing a vital component that has made the programme a must-listen-to weekly treat – the host Sandi Toksvig. The Danish comedian, who is 57, has made the UK her home for many years, and had been hosting The News Quiz since taking over from Simon Hoggart in September 2006.
She has been a familiar face on British TV since the 1980s on shows such as Whose Line Is It Anyway and Have I Got News For You (she was on the first episode back in 1990). But she had made The News Quiz her own by stamping her personality and sense of humour on the satirical news panel show. She brought a more risque feel to the show with, in recent years, frequent jokes about her sexuality and lesbianism in particular. She left the programme to help with the formation of the Women’s Equality Party.
Her replacement as host is the long-standing pannelist on the programme, Miles Jupp. Listening to the show this evening I didn’t notice any obvious changes to style and Miles Jupp followed the usual format that has made the show one of Radio 4’s most-popular comedy programmes – occupying the flagship Friday Night Comedy slot of 6.30pm to 7pm. I don’t doubt that Jupp will do well as host, and as along as they keep up the quality of writing and pannelists I will continue to look forward to the show each Friday. But I will miss Sandi.
The show is featured on the Friday Night Comedy podcast on the Radio 4 podcast site, where it is posted after the broadcast or the following day and remains as a free download for a week or so.