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Justin Webb starts as Today programme presenter

By Oliver Luft

Justin Webb, the BBC’s former North American editor, has this morning joined Radio 4’s flagship news and current affairs programme, Today, as its newest presenter.

In December, Webb was named as the replacement for Edward Stourton, who after contributing to the show for nearly a decade was told he was surplus to requirements as a presenter.

Webb, who has been North American editor for nearly two years, wasn’t expected to join the Today team until October.

He’ll present the programme alongside current regulars Sarah Montague, James Naughtie, Evan Davis, as well as John Humphrys who is co-presenting this morning’s show.

BBC News’s Europe editor Mark Mardell has become the new North America editor following Webb’s appointment.

Webb’s arrival followed a seeming breakdown in corporate communication at the BBC last year as Stourton discovered he had been dumped as a presenter after receiving a phone call from a newspaper journalist.

According to reports Stourton then rang his editor who confirmed the story.

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Stourton told the Guardian in December that he was ‘devastated’ and was uncertain of his future after he fulfils his contractual obligation with Today up to September this year.

The BBC said today Stourton would continue to work for the programme, reporting regularly on foreign stories in addition to joining the presenting teams of World At One and The World This Weekend and a series of other Radio 4 projects.

Stourton said: “I am sad to lose my Today seat but I am delighted that I shall have a continuing role on the programme and excited about trying new things on The World This Weekend and World at One.”

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