�John Humphrys (born August 17, 1943) is a British radio and television presenter. He has been a presenter on BBC Radio 4's Today programme since 1987, and has worked as a correspondent and presenter for the Nine O'Clock News.
He is considered to be a tough interviewer and is allegedly avoided by the Prime Minister Tony Blair. He has occasionally attracted criticism for his abrasive style: for example, former Conservative minister Jonathan Aitken accused him in March 1995 of "poisoning the well of democratic debate".
John Humphrys was born in Splott, a suburb of Cardiff, and was educated at Cardiff High School, leaving to become a teenage reporter on the Penarth Times. He later joined the Western Mail, and it was during this period that he changed the spelling of his surname from Humphries to its present form, in order to avoid confusion with a colleague.
Humphrys joined TWW, a commercial television channel based in Wales, before going to the BBC. He worked as a foreign correspondent in both the United States and Africa, and became a presenter of the Nine O'Clock News in the early 1980s. He joined the Today programme in 1987, when it was still spearheaded by Brian Redhead, although he still made occasional appearances fronting BBC TV news bulletins in the 1990s.
He made the headlines on August 28, 2004, after scathing criticism of the 'dumbing down' of British television. He criticised reality shows such as Big Brother, as well as the increasing violence in British soap operas. Ironically, Humphrys is also the presenter of the revived version of Mastermind, which has also been accused of 'dumbing down'.
Humphrys attracted further controversy in September 2005 when he allegedly branded all politicians as liars and made comments about Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, and John Prescott in an after-dinner speech which was subsequently leaked to The Times by Tim Allan, an aide to the Prime Minister. On September 6, 2005, Humphrys was censured by the Corporation for his use of "inappropriate and misguided" language.
Humphrys has also presented Panorama. He has won many industry awards, including being named Journalist of the Year in February 2000 at an awards ceremony organised by The House Magazine and Channel 4; the Gold Sony Radio Award in 2003; and a silver platter for Crystal Clear Broadcasting from the Plain English Campaign.
John Humphrys has written a book called Lost for Words, in which he criticizes what he sees as the widespread misuse of the English language.
His brother, Bob Humphrys, is a television presenter on BBC Wales sport programmes.