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ABOUT MONEY PROGRAMME


Correspondent John Penycate says that his high points on The Money Programme have been interviewing larger-than-life businessmen like the late Robert Maxwell, Rupert Murdoch and Disney's Michael Eisner; and reporting stories that shed light in murky areas, like the stratagems of the tobacco industry, long-firm frauds and big-game hunting: plus reporting on high technology and the Internet - business phenomena whose growth has staggered everybody.

John has always been a television current affairs journalist. He started out as a researcher on the Frost Programme at ITV. Here at the BBC, he was a producer on Panorama for eight years before going front-of-camera in the mid 80's. Since then, John has reported on Panorama for four years, for Newsnight, On The Record and The Money Programme - where he is on his second stint starting in 1995. He has also co-authored two books, one of which - The Tunnels of Cu Chi, written with colleague Tom Mangold - was a best-seller both in the UK and the US.




Michael Robinson has reported regularly for The Money Programme since 1988.
He began working for the BBC in 1978 reporting for Moneybox, The World Tonight and The Financial World Tonight. For five years from 1983, he worked on the weekly radio documentary programme File on 4, winning numerous awards and commendations including the Sony Award for best current affairs programme for his coverage of the political unrest in South Africa.

During 1993 and 1994, Michael investigated causes of the explosive economic growth in China. The resulting three part series The Giant Awakes won numerous awards and commendations including the Harold Wincott Award for financial journalism - which emphasises the ability to explain complex issues in a readily understandable manner. Following a further series investigating the changes in the British way of work he worked for Panorama. His special report The Copper Ring investigated a multi-billion dollar international fraud designed to manipulate the world's copper markets.

In 1998, Michael returned to The Money Programme. In the past year he has reported on a wide range of topics, the reasons why manufacturers of branded goods are able to keep prices in Britain high, the debate about the alleged health hazards of mobile 'phones, the continuing mis-selling of endowment mortgages and the effect of the closure of the Danube on the economies of the former communist countries of South Eastern Europe. Recently, he has been investigating high street banks and the quality of the financial products they offer their customers.




Nils Blythe has reported for the Money Programme from all over the world during the last five years. The challenge, he says, is trying to spot the key turning points and trends in an increasingly global economy before everyone else does. Recent filming has taken him to seldom seen parts of China to witness the effects of mass unemployment, to the west coast of America to interview Bill Gates and the other business leaders of the Information Age and to Kosovo to assess the economic impact of war in Europe.

Before joining the Money Programme Nils was Business Correspondent of the Today Programme on BBC Radio Four, reporting daily on business and economic stories at improbably early hours of the morning. He has also reported for Newsnight and a wide variety of other BBC radio and television programmes.

Turning important, complex subjects into comprehensible and powerful television is always difficult but can be extraordinarily satisfying too, he says. The highest praise is having someone tell you they understood something which had always puzzled them.




Jonathan Charles is the BBC's Europe Business Correspondent and a regular contributor to the Money Programme. For the past decade, he's criss-crossed the continent searching out stories on everything from the European single currency to Russian corruption. Jonathan says demand for pieces about the mainland European economy and business has increased along with the continent's growing importance to Britain. He cites his most unusual experience as filming a Russian casino for the Money Programme, a casino owned by a member of the Russian mafia.

Jonathan has been broadcasting for the BBC for almost twenty years. Now based in Frankfurt, he was previously the correspondent in Brussels, Paris and New York. Apart from the Money Programme, he also broadcasts on other BBC shows including the Nine O'clock News and the Today programme. He describes making a Money Programme film as one of the most satisfying broadcasting experiences for a correspondent because it's possible to really dig deep to get to the very heart of an issue.

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