Angela Barnes one of three The News Quiz hosts

BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz is welcoming not one but three new hosts in 2020 – Nish Kumar, Angela Barnes and Andy Zaltzman, who will host a series each.

Winner of the BBC New Comedy Award in 2011, Angela Barnes is no stranger to The News Quiz, writing for the panel show before going on to star as a regular panellist of the show. Angela has hosted Newsjack on 4 Extra, and the second series of her Radio 4 show Angela Barnes: You Can’t Take It With You broadcast earlier this year. Angela will take up hosting duties from April.

Angela Barnes says: “To say that I’m chuffed to be asked to be one of the new chairs of The News Quiz on Radio 4 is an obscene understatement, it’s literally the job of my dreams, though I’m hoping that when I do it for real the audience and I will remain fully clothed. It’s such an exciting and daunting prospect to follow in the substantial footsteps of Took, Hoggart, Toksvig, Jupp et al, so I’m delighted that I’ll be doing it alongside Nish and Andy and I hope between us we can guide the listeners through whatever nonsense 2020 throws our way, while introducing exciting new voices and some of the best hair in topical comedy.”

A regular on TV and Radio, Nish Kumar hosts BBC Two’s The Mash Report, whilst appearing as both host and guest on BBC Two’s QI, Mock The Week and Live at the Apollo. On radio, he hosted Radio 4 Extra’s Newsjack for four series from 2015, as well as two series of his Radio 4 programme Spotlight Tonight with Nish Kumar. Nish will be in the hot seat from 3rd January.

Nish Kumar says: “I’m delighted to be taking the reins at the News Quiz. I look forward to unpacking the country’s continued descent into a Mad Max style dystopia/Britain’s glorious rise from the ashes into a bold new tomorrow (delete as applicable). I look forward to sharing this honour with two of my dearest show business friends, Angela and Andy.”

Comedy stalwart, Andy Zaltzman first featured on the panel show in 2006. He also features in a range of comedy, sport and political programmes across the BBC. On Radio 4 he has written and hosted Andy Zaltzman’s History of the Third Millennium, Empire-ical Evidence, and The Department with John Oliver. Andy also hosts satirical podcast The Bugle. Andy will take the reins from September.

Andy Zaltzman says: “It is a great honour to be entrusted with holding all news to account along with Angela and Nish. Over the course of the year, I hope we will be able to quiz the news so hard that it grows up and starts behaving its age.  There has been more news than average over the last 100 to 120 years, so, assuming that trend continues, we should hopefully have plenty of news to address.”

Each host will bring their own unique style to scrutinise the news agenda from all sides, joined by panellists with views from across the political spectrum.

Sioned Wiliam, Commissioning Editor for Comedy at BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra, says: “I’m really excited to have three incredible comedians hosting The News Quiz, each with their own unique sharp, satirical style. It’s been wonderful to have Angela, Nish and Andy on Radio 4 over the years and I’m delighted they’re now joining one of our flagship programmes which attracts millions of listeners on-air as well as to the chart topping podcast.”

The News Quiz was created by John Lloyd and was first broadcast in 1977 with Barry Norman as chairman. Over 42 years and 100 series, regular panellists have included the late Jeremy Hardy, Susan Calman, Hugo Rifkind, the late Linda Smith, Simon Evans, Lucy Porter, Mark Steel, Andy Hamilton, Danny Finklestein, Kerry Godliman, Zoe Lyons and Ayesha Hazarika. Former hosts include Sandi Toksvig, Simon Hoggart, Barry Took, Barry Norman and most recently, Miles Jupp.

The News Quiz will return in January 2020 on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.

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