One of the country’s favourite broadcasters has been signed up to host this year’s Birmingham Post Business Awards.
Jeremy Vine, who currently hosts the lunchtime show on Radio 2, will compere the event celebrating the best companies from across the region, at Edgbaston Cricket Stadium on October 4.
Mr Vine started his career in journalism as a trainee at the Coventry Evening Telegraph back in the 1980s and while he was only there for little more than 12 months, he believes it was one of the most important years of his career.
“When I was in Coventry, I vehemently believed that journalism was ink and I had complete contempt for anyone who packed hairspray for an assignment – man or woman,” said Mr Vine.
“I would say I learned around 50 per cent of what I know about the industry during my time in Coventry and have written a chapter about it in my latest book which looks back at my career.
“While I am a broadcaster, I still love newspapers but they are going through extremely difficult times and the challenge is how to make them pay as websites become increasingly important.
“I took my eight-year-old daughter to the FA Cup Final this year and afterwards when we wanted to talk about it we didn’t boot up the laptop but went and bought all the papers and spread them across the kitchen floor so newspapers still provide something that nothing else can offer.”
He said he believed the current Leveson Inquiry into media standards very much reflected the challenges the press has faced in recent years.
He said: “I think this inquiry is very much part of the whole issue of the future of the print media.
"Basically what we have seen with the advent of the computer -– which some may wish had never been invented – and the general economic environment is an industry which became ferociously competitive that saw journalists go on the hunt for impact that became criminal. It’s very difficult to know how Leveson will play out but it is unlikely to be good for the industry.”
Talking about his own career, Mr Vine said he had found his niche at Radio 2.
He said: “I have decided that I would like to stay at Radio 2 until I’m 93. Radio is currently in the ascendency – people thought things like podcasts would hurt radio but we now have more than a million more listeners – and in radio it is very much about longevity while on TV it is all about impact. My predecessor Jimmy Young did his show for nearly 30 years so I have a long way to go yet.”
In terms of agreeing to host the Birmingham Post’s Business Awards in October, he said it was important to meet people at the sharp end of life.
He said: “While we have guests come into the studio, it really is important to get out and about and find out what’s going on in the world.
"As for business awards, I did something recently which was full of fantastic entrepreneurs which really gave me hope for the future and I’m hoping that we see more of the same when I am up in Birmingham.”
? More information on the Birmingham Post Business Awards, including how to enter, at www.bpbusinessawards.co.uk . Closing date for entries is July 19.