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 Monday, 6 January, 2003, 13:55 GMT
Vine takes Radio 2 hot seat
Jeremy Vine
Jeremy Vine: Music and political credentials
Former Newsnight presenter Jeremy Vine has taken over from veteran DJ Sir Jimmy Young in BBC Radio 2's prestigious lunchtime slot on Monday.

The start of Vine's permanent tenure comes one day after his predecessor attacked the BBC for its "frightening" and "brutal" history.

Jimmy Young on his last day
Sir Jimmy used his last show to say he was forced out
Vine, who was chosen for his ability to span the worlds of music and current affairs as Sir Jimmy did, is on air for two hours each weekday from 1200 GMT.

The slot is one of the most prominent on BBC Radio, and Sir Jimmy regularly attracted five million listeners per day.

Vine has told listeners that he will give them "all the news that's fit to print, and some great music, thereby continuing a lunchtime tradition which has been part of all our lives for so long".

Home Secretary David Blunkett, his first guest, told Vine: "Welcome and good luck with the new programme - you have a hard act to follow. but you're experienced enough to do it."

As well as presenting Newsnight, Vine was the BBC's Africa correspondent. He presented a show on commercial radio before joining the BBC in 1987.

He also played drums in a band called The Flared Generation, and says his favourite record of all time is This Year's Model by Elvis Costello.


Monday's show tackled gun laws, safety for troops abroad and dieting myths.

But it was overshadowed by comments made by his predecessor in a Sunday newspaper.

On his final show in December, Sir Jimmy, 81, made it clear that he felt he was forced out, 29 years after joining the station.

He used his Sunday Express column to expand on the bitterness he felt towards his former employer, but said he had "no axe to grind".

'Not enjoyable'

"I was going to write that I had enjoyed that relationship [with the BBC] but that wouldn't be true," he wrote.

"Sometimes enjoyable, often not, would be a more accurate description."

Sir Jimmy thanked his listeners for their messages "ranging from dismay to outrage, at the BBC's decision to axe my enormously successful, award-winning programme".

He also used his column to attack the BBC over its licence fee.

What do you think?

Is Jeremy Vine a good replacement? Have your say

Sounded very good to me. I tuned in (from my car) for a few minutes and listened to the whole show. Good talk and (for a change) really good music (a lot of which Jeremy obviously likes and is knowledgeable about (eg. Elvis Costello, New Order, Flaming Lips). I'll make a point of listening when I can (which is more than I did for JY.....who despite his charm was due for retirement).
Joe Blair, UK

Jeremy Vine is first class. JY had a tremendous run and was excellent, but on his return from illness the show lacked crispness and pace. He also ignored the music, which is the most obvious difference with Vine. Carry on the good work.
Geoff Endersby, UK

For the first time in ages I kept my radio tuned to BBC 2 over the lunch period. Jeremy Vine by his age is more in touch with the subjects and music I want to hear. Thank goodness for the change, I'm sure Jimmy Young had his fans but the programme was due for a change and I shall look forward to listening in rather than changing channels.
Dave Worrall, North Wales

Jimmy Young had his own style of interviewing & presentating. Jeremy Vine is a younger presenter with his own style & it is hardly fair to compare & critisise two very different presenters. Those people expecting a Jimmy Young clone could be disappointed.
Richard Buswell, UK

I heard most of the show on Monday and thought it was excellent, intelligent and thoughtful but not afraid to be lighthearted where it was called for. Who could blame Mr Vine for being nervous, given the media attention JY's departure and his poorly-timed rudeness the day before the new show? I thought he aquitted himself admirably and think it a shame I can't normally listen to the radio from 12 till 2. Keep up the good work, Jeremy! (PS: is it me, or are Radio 2 DJ's getting younger?)
Michelle, UK

Television's Jeremy Vine rules - he's the logical successor to JY's successful blend of music and current affairs. The BBC have made the right choice.
Graham King, York, UK

Dyed in the wool JY fans will miss Jimmy but he couldn't go on for ever. Jeremy is doing a fine job. His show is entertaining and informative, and if his coverage of the friendly fire issue (Monday) is anything to go by the slot is in good hands. Go for it Jeremy.
Terry, England

I thought the show was great. Interesting and topical subjects were tackled objectively. We all loved JY, but I thought Jeremy filled the spot perfectly.
Rebecca Taylor, UK

I think he's great. I've been looking forward to him taking over the show for months and I thought he did a great job yesterday. A perfect mixture of politics and decent music. Excellent!
Jo Knight, UK

At long last, some real journalism comes to Radio 2 in the form of the excellent Jeremy Vine. He had already proven he could do the job when sitting in for Jimmy Young so there are no surprises. However, whose idea was it to have a news and current affairs programme interspersed with records? Nowt too highbrow for the typical Radio 2 listener I suspect.

If the diatribes on the Radio 2 message boards were anything to go by, intelligence is not the primary quality of the "average" person, who tunes in to Radio 2. Nonetheless Radio 2 still is the nation's most listened to station, thus proving that we are a nation of not too clever people who wouldn't know good journalism if we heard it... I worry Jeremy's talents might be wasted.
Kitty, UK

As a late-thirty something Radio 2 is becoming evermore appealing. Jerry Vine taking over from Jimmy Young's slot makes it more appealing still. Newsnight's loss is 5 million listeners gain.
Martin Cook, UK

So far I like what I've heard of Jeremy and judging by his previous stints on the JY slot it is in very capable hands. Welcome, Jeremy.
Cheryl Emmanuel, Channel Islands

JY didn't "span the worlds of music and current affairs". The music was always incidental to the programme...a bit of breathing space. JV is much better at the overall bond and is far more amusing. His voice is less irritating, too. Sorry JY!
Russ Tarbox, UK

Jeremy Vine has the opportunity to become a big hitter at the BBC, with or without BBC2's flagship news programme. Sharp, witty and, comparatively speaking, very young. Newsnight's loss is Radio 2's gain.
Jason Grist, Teddington, UK

I have listened to both Jimmy and Jeremy and much prefer Jeremy's style (maybe something to do with Jeremy being closer in age to me than Jimmy?). I was under the impression that Jimmy was going to carry on and host a weekend current affairs programme - what happened to that idea? Of all the stand-in presenters who have hosted the show over the last few months, Jeremy has certainly excelled. Newsnight's loss is radio 2's gain.
Mark McCahill, Scotland

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Jeremy Vine has stepped into Sir Jimmy Young's shoes as presenter of Radio 2's lunchtime slotIs Vine fine?
Your views on Sir Jimmy Young's replacement
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20 Dec 02 | Entertainment
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