John Humphrys isn’t woke or politically correct – and that’s exactly why people like me will miss him

In a democracy, we need all shades of opinion, people who are a bit edgy, people whose humour and values were formed half a century ago, not just at Glastonbury or during the poll tax riots or as a result of the #MeToo movement

Janet Street-Porter
Friday 23 August 2019 19:51 BST
The veteran journalist is soon to leave the ‘Today’ programme after 32 years
The veteran journalist is soon to leave the ‘Today’ programme after 32 years (Rex)

He’s not the kind of guy who is going to write me a thank you note but I want to stick up for John Humphrys. What a brilliant broadcaster this irritating old bugger is – mind you, that sentence alone is enough to wind up the modern thought police who can find fault in any statement which refers to age or gender in less than the politically correct terminology. The same people who complained about the joke which won the prize for best gag at the Edinburgh Festival because it contained the word “florets”, implying the comic was suffering from Tourette’s syndrome. The sensitive souls who complained about Gary Lineker’s feeble mockery of the follically challenged pundits on Match of the Day – which (by the way) the bald blokes in question found extremely funny.

This week, Humphrys attracted ire for making a throwaway remark about “not punching” David Davis, when the latter ended their conversation by remarking it might be the last time they would “tango” together. This referred to the dancer in the World Tango championships who was disqualified after witnesses saw him punching his wife. Cue outrage from charities who said the men were condoning domestic abuse. Really?

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