I’m an American.. Texan, specifically. I’ve been listening to BBC Radio 4’s News Quiz for 12 seasons now and Sandi Toksvig’s voice has become a staple in my household. Her voice has become a comfort (whenever the bizarrely-spaced “season” scheduling allows it to air, that is). I’ve been thru the News Quiz panto performed in season 76, endured countless quickly-rattled rants by Jeremy Hardy, heard more than enough about Susan Calman’s cat antics..
After hearing Sandi’s final episode (found here, if still available for listening), and googling who might replace her, I found this Telegraph article listing a few proposed hosts to replace her, so these are my votes from that list.
I’m aware I probably have no real say in the matter. I listen to quite a bit of Radio 4’s “comedy club” shows, for about as long as News Quiz. I make every effort to hear each episode of The Unbelievable Truth, Dilemma, I’ve Never Seen Star Wars, Heresy, the Museum of Curiosity, So Wrong It’s Right, Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, Wordaholics, and recently the new Holly Walsh show Best Behavior (which is fantastic). I really like all of the permutations of Milton Jones (Another Case, and Thanks A Lot) but most of them seem to be repeats.
Jeremy Clarkson – No way. He might be a decent guest host on occasion, but under no circumstances would I vote for this guy. I’ve seen maybe 2 episodes of Top Gear and frankly have zero concern for whatever BBC producer tumult he caused.. but the guy’s voice and way of speaking in general does not even vaguely approach comedic to me.
Jeremy Paxman / Emily Maitlis / Michael Deacon / Rory Brenner / Armando Iannucci / Paul Merton – No idea who these are. I just simply can’t comment on them. I’m sure if I heard their voices I might recognize them, but I don’t think I can credible vote for any of them being so unfamiliar.
Jeremy Hardy – He would be okay as a host, but I think he makes a really great regular panelist, and I think the gap he’d leave from no longer being a member of the panel would not be justified in moving to the desk. I really like his lengthy rants that leaves everyone agiggle, especially by making outlandish comparisons. He’s a little like how David Mitchell would get a kind of “upset by smiling about it” on comedy TV shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats, except the rants are seemingly less impromptu and more frequent but no less delightful.
Susan Calman – Oh please please no. Her regional accent isn’t a bother, but just certain ASMR-like elements of her voice are on the cusp of super annoying, but still within the range of tolerable enough to legitimize her remaining as an less-frequent-than-Hardy regular panelist. And really, please, enough with the cat stories. It’ll be the Cat Quiz soon enough and everyone will be reading clippings from cat fashion industry news from around the world before long.
Jack Dee – Oh my goodness yes please. Huge fan of Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, with its delightful writing thereof that introduces the panelists in passive dark humor and silly way of speaking. The Telegraph article mentions having his ‘hands full’ already with SIHAC but how much writing does News Quiz really require? The topics involved are for the week of airing, not for the news that happened between seasons.
Jo Brand – Jo is a good contender I think. I like her style of blunt humor from her appearances on other TV panel shows like QI, and I think she may have actually subbed for Sandi once if I recall. She has a slower way of speaking than Sandi, but a level amount of snark I think.
David Mitchell – My delight at any opportunity to hear David speak, for any reason, is nearly limitless — but I don’t think I’d rather him host the News Quiz. I think he’d do a great job at it, but I don’t want the chance for anything else he currently does to be sacrificed in order to pursue News Quiz. If he could still do what he does now and do the News Quiz, I’d extend my vote to him in that circumstance.
Sue Perkins – I really like Sue Perkins, both in super-prettiness and for commanding vocal humor. Sue Perkins to me has a very similar carrying-of-voice as Sandi does, and I think would be a very even match with Sandi’s style as far as my ears can tell.
Marcus Brigstocke – Marcus seems a little too prim-and-proper to be a News Quiz host. His humor is great, and I would like to hear him as a host for a different show aside from I’ve Never Seen Star Wars. I get a vibe of ‘trustworthy’ from him, moreso in a sense if he were a
Sarah Millican – Arguably my favorite female British comic, possibly tied with Sue Perkins. Not sure she’d make a great host, but certainly a delight to listen to as a panelist (and should be invited for more panel shows)..
Others I really like and would nominate: Victoria Coren Mitchell, Clive Anderson, John Lloyd, Bill Bailey, Phill Jupitus, Rhod Gilbert, John Bishop, Jason Manford, Rachel Riley..
Others I really like but would not nominate: Robert Webb, Henning Wehn, Jon Richardson, Milton Jones, Hugh Dennis, Frank Skinner, Nicholas Parsons, Sean Lock, Dave Gorman, Jimmy Carr, Barry Cryer, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, Stephen Fry, Rob Brydon, Alan Davies, Michael McIntyre, Frankie Boyle, Russell Howard, David Walliams, Ross Noble, Chris Addison, Kevin Bridges, Dave Gorman, Andy Parsons, Mark Watson, Rufus Hound, Jack Whitehall, Lee Mack, Miranda Hart..