Television

BBC current affairs veteran Robinson to call it a day

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MUMBAI: UK pubcaster BBC's current afairs veteran Mike Robinson has decided to step down as editor of the Panorama block. He is retiring from the BBC after spending 25 years with the organisation. He has been the editor of the BBC's flagship current affairs strand for more than five years.

He and his team have produced many shows including the story of the row between the government and BBC which culminated in the death of David Kelly, which won the RTS Home Current Affairs journalism award and was the first of a number of Panoramas examining the government's case for war.

Other programmes include John Simpson and Tom Giles's tale of death by friendly fire in the Iraq war, which won the RTS International programme award; and the trilogy of investigations into the anti-depressant Seroxat, which had a significant impact on both the programme's audiences and the field of drug policy and regulation.

Panorama's RTS award winning investigation into corruption in horse racing also had significant impact, forcing the Jockey Club to hold an internal enquiry and strengthen its security measures. Before joining Panorama, Robinson had worked in a variety of roles including Editor of the One O'Clock News and News Editor across BBC TV News as a whole.

After joining Panorama as a film-maker in 1992, he produced a number of documentaries, including The Story of Child B; Valentina's Story and When Good Men do Nothing on the genocide in Rwanda, and the famous Martin Bashir interview with Princess Diana. The latter recorded one of the largest TV audiences in BBC history and picked up a Bafta, one of two which he won.

BBC News director Helen Boaden said, "Mike's passion for Panorama and his commitment to serious current affairs have made him an outstanding Editor of the series over many years. He's never been afraid of tackling vested interests, current orthodoxies and unfashionable issues and subjecting them to rigorous, scrutiny and appraisal. We shall miss his vision and his tenacity very much and wish him good fortune in the coming years."

Robinson said, "I am delighted to have been worked for so many years with a talented Panorama team still committed to producing ambitious and significant television journalism across a broad agenda. With its public funding, the BBC still occupies a privileged position within British society and I greatly appreciate the backing I've enjoyed for the difficult and challenging journalism for which I have had responsibility. After 25 years with one broadcaster, I relish the challenges and opportunities that the future holds."

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