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Wednesday, 3 January, 2001, 18:52 GMT
The Price is right
Christopher Price
Christopher Price: Liquid News does "news with a twist"
By BBC News Online's Helen Bushby

Christopher Price, the presenter of BBC Choice's daily entertainment news show Liquid News, has hit headlines over his alleged salary of 250,000.

Described as a "little known newsreader" by The Guardian, and as an "unknown BBC man" by The Sun, Price's place in the spotlight is secured, at least for the moment, by the flurry of publicity surrounding the story.

He seems bemused by the whole incident, and refuses to comment on the claims, saying he has no idea how the story got into the newspapers.

Regardless of the charge from The Sun that he fronts an "obscure" show, Price, 33, is definitely happy with his lot, calling Liquid News "the most exciting place to work in TV".

Jenny Eclair
Jenny Eclair: "Funny and intelligent"
He describes the show as covering the day's entertainment news events, but, "with a twist".

Its guests - celebrities, comedians, journalists and media personalities - take an irreverent look at the day's events, and are prompted by Price to vent their spleens.

His favourite contributors are comediennes Jenny Eclair and Julia Morris - "the funniest people we have on the show" - and Heat magazine's editor Mark Frith, who "really understands how the industry works".

No digital problems

Although viewing figures for digital channels are not in the league of the major networks, this does not bother him.

"I don't have one problem with being on a digital channel - the viewing uptake will happen," he says.

Nicholas Parsons
Nicholas Parsons: A "disappointing guest"
The BBC is hoping the government will accept its proposals for the transformation of BBC Choice into BBC Three, which would be aimed at younger viewers.

It is expected that Liquid News would play a key part in attracting viewers.

Price's aim for Liquid News is that it stands out as a "classy show" among the new digital offerings.

But the presenter is also quick to point out that he does not just "come in and read the autocue" - he also has a hand in the scripts and the running order.

As a journalist who began his career in BBC local radio, moving to Radio 5Live, News 24 and BBC Choice, Price prides himself on the fact that the show deals only in news.

Moby's contribution

Warming to his subject, he extols the virtues of live television, and obviously enjoys the adrenaline rush of performing in a single take.

"I've worked in pre-recorded shows and it's just not the same," he says.

Although he did not set out to become an entertainment journalist, he thoroughly enjoys covering the multi-million pound industry and the antics of its stars.

He is also aware of the importance of the show's white, minimalist set and Liquid News's theme tune - by US dance star Moby.

"He just liked the show's format - it was rather different from shows in the US," Price explains, adding that Moby gave them the choice of four tracks that had not made it onto his massively successful album Play.

"He remembered the show - it must be because we're both bald-headed people in the media," he adds.

'He didn't want to play ball'

Price's own taste in entertainment is eclectic and "changes constantly".

His current film favourite is Billy Wilder's The Apartment, the tale of an insurance clerk who ends up in a sticky situation when he lets his flat to his bosses and their mistresses.

His other passions are Italian pop singer Eros Ramazotti, photographer Andy Earle and the novelist Arthur Golden, who wrote Memoirs of a Geisha.

He has rather less time for TV and radio panel game host Nicholas Parsons, who proved to be a disappointing guest on Liquid News.

"He came on the show, but he didn't want to play ball - he just wasn't interested," Price adds with a wry smile.

See also:

30 May 00 | Entertainment
BBC showcases entertainment news
06 Aug 00 | Entertainment
BBC3 and BBC4 planned
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