David Dimbleby: who is BBC journalist, and what is new series Days That Shook the BBC about?

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The former Question Time host takes an in-depth look back at some of the major controversies which rocked the BBC throughout the years

David Dimbleby is making a comeback to television screen as he preapre to uncover some of the BBC’s biggest controversies.

The former journalist takes the reins on the new three-part series ‘Days That Shook The BBC’, released as part of the corporation’s centenial celebrations.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the host David Dimbleby and what we can expect from the show.

Former Question Times host David Dimbleby takes a look back at major controversies which rocked the BBC in a new three-part series. (Credit: BBC Pictures)Former Question Times host David Dimbleby takes a look back at major controversies which rocked the BBC in a new three-part series. (Credit: BBC Pictures)
Former Question Times host David Dimbleby takes a look back at major controversies which rocked the BBC in a new three-part series. (Credit: BBC Pictures) | BBC Studios/James Parris

Who is David Dimbleby?

David Dimbleby is a famed journalist and television presenter who gained widespread recognition for his work at the BBC.

He began working at the BBC in the 1960s as a news reporter in Bristol, before moving on to become a correspondent for election night specials for the channel.

Dimbleby is known for hosting the BBC’s election night coverage, having first stepped into the presenting role in 1979. He continued to present the election night specials until 2019.

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The journalist is also known for his work on the BBC’s long-running politcal debate show Question Time. He first stepped into the Chairman role in 1994, before eventually retiring from the show 14 years later in 2018.

Despite giving up his Question Time gig, the 83-year-old continues to work in the world of political reporting, releasing podcasts on the Iraq War and media mogul Rupert Murdoch in the last few years.

What is Days That Shook The BBC about?

‘Days That Shook The BBC’ will focus on events throughout the BBC’s 100 years which caused controversies for the corporation.

Dimbleby will present the documentary series, taking a closer look at how “the BBC has come into conflict with key parts of the establishment”, from Margaret Thatcher to Harold Wilson and even the monarchy.

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The first episode in the three-part series will focus on the independence of the BBC, and how “it has sought to preserve and assert its independence over the last half century”.

Well-known BBC reporters and correspondents of past and present will be interviewed in the series, including former Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis.

Maitlis caused controversy last week after telling an audience at the Edinburgh Television Festival’s keynote James McTaggart speech that “Tory croynism is at the heart of the BBC”, after she claimed the corporation “sought to pacify” the government over her now-infamous Dominic Cummings Newsnight introduction.

When is Days That Shook The BBC on?

The documentary series will air on 9pm on BBC Two and live on the BBC iPlayer.

The show begins on 30 August, with each episode airing weekly in the same timeslot.

Days That Shook The BBC will also be available to watch on catch-up on iPlayer after it has aired on television.

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