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BBC World Service’s Matthew Bannister steps down as Outlook presenter after ten years

By Dorothy Musariri

After ten years, Matthew Bannister has stepped down as the  presenter of BBC World Service’s Outlook programme to join the “world of podcasting”.

During his time at the BBC, Bannister worked as Radio 1 controller and a presenter at BBC Radio 2, Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live presenter.

In 1999 he was appointed chief executive of BBC Production, taking charge of the creation of all the non-news content on English radio, online and television.

Bannister said it had been a “privilege to present Outlook for the last ten years”. The programme features personal stories from people across the world.

He added: “I’ve interviewed hundreds of inspiring people from all over the world who constantly reminded me of the universal power of the human spirit to rise above oppression and tragedy. It has been a life-affirming experience.”

“I’ve also loved working with one of the most talented and committed production teams in the business. But I always like to set myself new challenges, so I’m heading off to see if I can make an impact in the exciting world of podcasting.”

Mary Hockaday, controller of BBC World Service English said one of Bannister’s career highlights was his interview with the late Kofi Annan.

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She said: “The wonderful anecdotes Mr Annan shared, from the trouble he got into at school for challenging authority to how he coped with being a single parent – it’s a brilliant interview.

“But Matthew was also truly skilled at talking to ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events and teasing out their inspiring stories.

“Outlook is one of the most cherished programmes on the BBC World Service, and Matthew has been a truly wonderful presenter, guiding contributors through interviews with real skill and empathy.

“We thank Matthew for a wonderful decade and wish him all the best in his future endeavours. He will be greatly missed not only by his colleagues at Outlook, but by many listeners who tune in to the programme from all over the world.

As well as a career in broadcasting, Bannister is the chairman of the independent production company Wire Free Productions.

He will continue to present Radio 4 obituary programme Last Word.

Picture: BBC

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