Letter from the editor: Britain's youngest paper

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The Independent Online

So, the furry microphones have been put away, and the staff of i can go about their business again without fear of being interviewed on national radio.

Yesterday, the Richard Bacon afternoon programme on Radio 5 came live from the newsroom of i and our sister paper, The Independent, and very entertaining it was, too.

Richard has an extremely winning way with his interviewees, and, as well as putting our staff at their ease, he managed to get the actor Hugh Grant to give him a little exclusive on the phone hacking scandal.

The only time I had to pick him up was when, in an outrageous example of reverse ageism, he suggested that our home news editor and foreign editor (both 27 years old) were too young to have such responsible jobs. Nonsense, I told Richard, 35. If you are good enough, you’re old enough, and, as the youngest paper in Britain, with the youngest readers (whatever age they may be!), it’s right that we should have a comparatively youthful staff. “I bet you tease them about their age yourself,” he said. Of course not, I countered. The fact that I was working in national newspapers when they were still playing British Bulldog in the playground is something that I have hardly ever mentioned!

Nevertheless, from the emails, texts and tweets received, it seemed that the great British public enjoyed the programme. I particularly liked the story told by a listener of the time he was in his local paper for having broken his arm in a pub arm-wrestling competition. “Armless bitter fun” read the headline.

And now we can get ready for encountering our readers in a more tangible way: tomorrow sees the second of our parties for i readers, this time at the Royal Academy in London. We’re taking these parties around the country soon, most likely starting with Britain’s new second city! As they used to say in radio, TTFN!