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EDITIONS
Politics Show Sunday, 2 March, 2003, 16:58 GMT
Meet presenters Sophie Long & Chris Rogers
Sophie Long & Chris Rogers
Sophie Long and Chris Rogers co-present The Politics Show from the South West
Sophie Long is a local girl who returns to the South West to co-present the Politics Show.

Sophie, 26, has lots of local links. She was born and bred in Torquay. Her parents moved the family to Weston super Mare, but Sophie returned to the area frequently for holidays and to visit her aunt and grandmother.

Sophie's ambitions to follow in the footsteps of Kate Adie and Martin Bell led her to graduate from King's College, London with a degree in War Studies.

Broadcasting experience

Sophie Long
Sophie Long
After working as an election monitor in Cambodia, and gaining some experience with Reuters news agency, Sophie began work as a newsroom assistant in London with ITV. She gained a BBC scholarship (endowed in honour of the late Jill Dando) to do a diploma in Broadcast journalism in Falmouth. During her post graduate diploma, Sophie worked at BBC Radio Cornwall and Spotlight.

Sophie then joined the BBC's News Training scheme, which led her to the Midlands where she worked at BBC Radio's Shropshire, Hereford and Worcester, and then moved to Pebble Mill, where she found herself on the breakfast TV screens as one of Midlands Today's early morning and lunchtime presenters.

The Politics Show

She is excited about presenting the Politics Show because "It'll be something completely different. It'll be great to get my teeth into issues behind the headlines in the South West, the things that really matter to people here."

Sophie is pleased to have returned home because "It'll be fantastic to finally return to the South West after nearly seven years traversing the country for the good of my career. I can't wait to swap the congested M6 for the calm of Devon and Cornwall."

Chris Rogers has spent the last ten years as South West Political Editor and presenter of 'Spotlight on Westminster'.

Born in New Zealand, Chris was brought up in Oxford and took his first steps into radio when BBC Radio Oxford opened in 1970.

The interest outgrew his formal education as an electrical engineer, and after graduating from Lanchester Polytechnic in Coventry he joined BBC Radio Carlisle and was the first voice on the air when the station opened in November 1973.

Chris Rogers
Chris Rogers
Six years later, he joined Border Television as a presenter and reporter. When he co-presented their evening news programme he took it to number one in the local ratings, even beating 'Coronation Street'.

Political experience

Chris moved to the South West in 1982, joining Television South West as Political Editor, producing and presenting a monthly politics programme.

His return to the BBC came in 1990 when he moved to BBC South West as co-presenter of the flagship evening news programme, 'Spotlight'. He has spent the last ten years as Regional Political Editor and presenter of the weekly political programme 'Spotlight on Westminster'.

In his 21 years in the South West he has counted in all the present complement of 20 MPs in the region, and counted out a fair few as well.

He has interviewed every Prime Minister since James Callaghan and every main political party leader many times. He has six General Elections under his belt and is currently the longest serving news presenter/reporter working in the South West.

The Politics Show

Chris says of the programme "This is a great opportunity to take our political coverage forward. I'm looking forward to making even better the service our viewers are used to."

"I hope we'll also be able to show the wider national audience that while living in the South West is a great experience, it's not cream teas and sunny beaches all the time.

"Many people struggle with problems just as depressing as those of the inner cities."

Join Sophie Long and Chris Rogers on The Politics Show every Sunday at midday on BBC One.

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