John Pienaar a veteran of the Westminster beat, the BBC Deputy Political Editor believes that cynicism is unhelpful: assume politicians are attempting to say something useful; but listen very, very carefully. He speculates on what might happen if we were to select the next government by means of reality TV.
John Pienaar is the BBC’s Deputy Political Editor and presenter of the weekly Westminster round up: Pienaar’s Politics on Radio 5 Live. A seasoned reporter, he sees his job as beating a path through the forest of Government spin. Ever since his original, often controversial parliamentary sketch for the Independent; he has acted as tour guide and translator of goings on in the Westminster village.
Where It Began
John originally trained at the South London Press, covering what ever was occurring on his doorstep; be it street crime, domestic violence, sex, drugs or Rock ’n’ Roll. He then became an Old Bailey Correspondent and even wrote an angling column (without ever having held a fishing rod).
Instantly recognisable to TV news audiences, John has spent hundreds of hours standing in the rain outside 10 Downing Street. He was also invited to take part in a celebrity boxing show, only for it to be cancelled; for fear that someone might get hurt.
Picking up this theme in his after dinner speech, John imagines what would happen if the public were to vote for MPs by means of a reality TV show.
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Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.
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