BBC plans to co-anchor Today programme from Salford

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Nick Robinson

The BBC has drawn up plans to anchor Radio 4’s flagship Today programme from MediaCityUK and London simultaneously.

According to the Sunday Times, outgoing Director General Lord Hall is keen on the idea of Nick Robinson, who grew up in Macclesfield, presenting the show from Salford two to three times a week. Mishal Husain, Martha Kearney and Justin Webb would continue to present from the BBC’s London studios.

The proposal follows plans outlined by the Director General to have at least two-thirds of the Corporation’s staff based outside London by 2027. At present 48% of the BBC’s 19,000-strong workforce are based in the capital.

A senior Today source told The Sunday Times: “It’s been discussed at the highest level and the Director General is keen on the idea. It would be a big thing for a show like Today to have a north-south connection and it has the virtue of having a proud northerner on the team.”

Robinson said he was unaware of the plans but added: “I’d be perfectly happy. I come from that part of the world. I still have family there. I still go to football there. I would not at all be surprised if in the future I did some broadcasting from there or other places outside London.”

The idea of co-presenting the programme from the North was initially suggested by former Today presenter John Humphrys in a newspaper column a fortnight ago.

He wrote: “Why not move Nick to Manchester? In one fell swoop you counter the charge of London bias, include the north of England in the national conversation and, with it, a little northern humour and realism. What about it, Nick?”

Brian Redhead sometimes presented the programme from Manchester during his time on the flagship programme from 1975 to 1993.