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Page last updated at 10:14 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 11:14 UK

South... meet the team...

Outside broadcast
We revel in getting to the heart of the community

Politics Show South takes on board the "your street" end of "From Downing Street to Your Street" with a vengeance.

Every week we broadcast the entire show from a different location throughout the region.

That might be your local railway station, school, hospital or shopping mall.

...and each week we put the politicians on the spot on their home ground - public accountability at a grass roots level.

Because we look at just one story each week, we can get further beneath the skin of an issue than other programmes.

  • Political predictions from the greyhound track in Hove
  • The future of regional airports from the departure lounge in Southampton Airport
  • Water shortages from a garden centre near Reading
  • Disability rights from the deck of a specially-adapted sail training ship
  • Personality politics with Edwina Curry and a Tony Blair look-alike from the panto stage in Worthing
  • Homelessness from a shelter in Brighton with pop star and Big Brother contestant Preston

We reckon that by going out on the streets rather than sitting in the safety and comfort of a TV studio it is much harder for the politicians to duck the issues that matter to all of us who live in those streets.

PETER HENLEY, Presenter

Since the launch of the Politics Show Peter Henley has been the man on the spot in the South. "The programme is a great chance to bring politicians down to earth," Peter says.

"It goes out live and unedited, and we give discussions enough time to really get under the skin of the subject."

Peter got a taste for politics as a radio reporter in the Thames Valley covering Margaret Thatcher's last days as Prime Minister.

Michael Heseltine's campaign to remove his leader was a bruising and bloody affair.

Peter Henley
Peter takes his politics very seriously...

"It was an excellent grounding in the true nature of politics," Peter says. "When the chips are down and backs are against the wall you see where true loyalties lie."

Peter also filmed in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War of 1992.

He can't forget the tank graveyards - row on row of twisted metal, in which men died. About politics.

It helps when you have confronted the politicians issuing the orders.

During the Kosovo campaign, British troops were facing a ground war when Peter went to interview the, then Foreign Secretary Robin Cook at Chequers.

Robin Cook broke off to take a telephone call, and returned a different person, having heard the first signs that the Serbian regime was caving in.

High politics has its lighter side too.

On the set...
On the set, or was it game or was it match..?

Like the time he had to pretend to be the sound man to sneak into an American press conference and ask Bill Clinton's right hand woman, Madeleine Albright, about the embargo on the banana trade.

"We said NO Questions!" they yelled. The Secret Service piled in, but he got the tape, and her answer, on the air that night!

Peter was flamboyant Conservative MP Boris Johnson's nemesis when he made unguarded comments about the government's healthy eating plans at the Party's conference.

"My report went around the world," Peter says, "I ended up feeling rather sorry for Boris, he was under siege from the media, but it shows how fast a political story can move."

Peter is pleased to be more rooted to home in the New Forest with wife Sam, who's a teacher, and their three boys, dog, cat and guinea pig.

The youngest boy, Toby, is not so sure. In order that Peter can do radio interviews from home, Toby has been pushed out of his bedroom, poor lad!

DANIELLE GLAVIN, Reporter

Danielle Glavin is our roving reporter always ready to cover the latest hot political topic.

Danielle Glavin
Undercover griller

Danielle joined us from South Today and when the politicians take their holidays you'll see her back on the daily news.

Danielle started her TV career in investigative journalism. She's been on undercover stings suited up in a stab vest, or as a cleaner in a hospital and she was kitted out with some gigantic and highly unattractive secret filming glasses to expose dodging dealings at a holiday firm.

So after all of that, grilling politicians should come easily. Just let her know how you want them...lightly smoked or burnt?

IAN PAUL, Producer

Ian started his TV career on "Nationwide" where one of his first claims to fame was getting lost while taking Dennis Healey to the studio.

Ian Paul
Ian making sure the show gets on the road...

Luckily he now spends Sundays in a satellite truck with a cable running through to the location, so loses far fewer politicians these days.

Now into his seventh year producing the Politics Show he reckons he has an unrivalled knowledge of some of the stranger places you can produce a TV programme from.

Any advance on a cowshed, an amusement park or a Refuse Amenity Site?

Join Peter Henley and the team on the Politics Show on Sundays on BBC One.

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