Outlook (radio programme)

Genre Human Interest and factual
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC World Service
Hosted by Jo Fidgen and Emily Webb
Edited by Munazza Khan
Recording studio Broadcasting House
Original release 4 July 1966 – present
Website Outlook
Podcast Outlook Podcast

Outlook is a radio programme on BBC World Service that broadcasts human interest stories from across the globe.[1] It broadcasts from Monday to Thursday from 1206 to 1259 GMT. A shorter edition, Outlook Weekend, airs on Saturdays from 2332 to 2359 GMT. First broadcast on 4 July 1966, it began as a straightforward magazine programme and was presented for more than thirty years by John Tidmarsh.[2] More recently, it has been praised for a consistent ability to uncover fascinating stories.[3] It was credited with bringing solace to Terry Waite after his abduction by Islamic extremists in Beirut in 1987.[4] Corruption of any kind is a favourite topic on the show[5] and it has achieved recognition for its high production values alongside other BBC radio programmes.[6]

The first presenters were former BBC war correspondent Bob Reid, John Tidmarsh and Colin Hamilton. Other regular presenters have included John McCarthy, Barbara Myers, John Waite, Mike Bullen, Janet Trewin, Frank Partridge, Caroline Wyatt, Frederick Dove (between 1997 and 2008) [7], Heather Payton [8], George Arney, Lucy Ash, Rajan Datar and Matthew Bannister (between 2008 and 2018). It is currently presented by Jo Fidgen and Emily Webb from BBC Broadcasting House in London.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s its theme music was "The Hellraisers" by Syd Dale.


  1. ^ Foreign Affairs Committee, Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons (2007). Global security: the Middle East, eighth report of session 2006-07. The Stationery Office. p. 70. ISBN 9780215035844.
  2. ^ Tidmarsh, John (2010). Horrid Go-Ahead Boy. Book Guild Publishing. ISBN 9781846244452.
  3. ^ Maume, Chris (15 January 2012). "Don't Log Off, Radio 4, Monday Outlook, BBC World Service". The Independent. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  4. ^ Govan, Fiona (18 October 2005). "Waite's dismay at loss of radio show that kept him alive". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  5. ^ Whitehouse, Bruce (2012). Migrants and Strangers in an African City: Exile, Dignity, Belonging. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0253000828.
  6. ^ Sterling, Christopher (2003). Encyclopedia of Radio, Volume 1. Routledge. p. 388. ISBN 1579582494.
  7. ^ "World Service Presenters- Fred Dove". Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  8. ^ "World Service Presenters- Heather Payton". Retrieved 16 February 2018.

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