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Page last updated at 15:47 GMT, Monday, 6 July 2009 16:47 UK
Presenter Profile: Wesley Smith
Wesley Smith

Wes is one of the newest presenters to join the BBC Oxford family.

However, he's already one of the best-known broadcasters in the county.

He comes to the Saturday lunchtime slot from ITV where he spent more than 20 years as a presenter on Central News and Thames Valley Tonight, the nightly news programmes.

Wes graduated from the University of Birmingham and joined ITV Central in the city as a trainee broadcast journalist.

Later he became a scriptwriter, reporter and presenter.

He was then selected as the launch co-presenter of Central News South based in Abingdon and stayed for 18 years before again launching a new programme, Thames Valley Tonight.

During his career, Wes fronted thousands of live news programmes, so he knows his patch inside out. He has interviewed primeministers and celebrities, but most importantly, the people who make the news in Oxfordshire. He has also presented many current affairs programmes and is well-known for his charity work and appearances at community events.

Wes is also game for a laugh and has tried his hand at unlikely activities including bingo-calling, doing a John Travolta impression on-stage at the New Theatre, trolleybus-driving and taking to the racetrack at 150mph at Silverstone... albeit with someone else at the controls! He also appeared in two episodes of "Inspector Morse".

Wes left ITV during restructuring which saw 17 regions reduced to 9. Thousands of people registered their support in an Oxford Mail campaign to keep him broadcasting in Oxfordshire, so he is delighted to join BBC Oxford. "I always listened to BBC Oxford on my way to work and at home" Wes admits, "so it's great to be working alongside people I already felt I knew."

BBC Oxford TV's Geraldine Peers joined Wes to co-host a Bank Holiday special and they had a great response from listeners. "Lunch with Wes" followed and features the best of BBC Oxford's output from the weekdays along with live guests and good music.

The show also goes out on the road and by week 3 came live from the Children's Food Festival in Little Wittenham and later from the Oxford United Family Fun Day at the Kassam Stadium. The show airs live from 12-2pm on Saturdays and is available via the BBC iplayer.

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