One of the most recognizable faces in the UK media is that of Larry Pattinson. The 55-year-old has been reporting on local events for the BBC, presenting shows on both TV and radio, and freelancing for national newspapers and magazines. As well as being a regular panelist on a number of TV shows, including BBC Question Time and Talk Sport, he has also hosted his own radio show, The Larry Pattinson Show, and been a regular guest on television shows including The Jonathan Ross Show and Never Mind the Buzzcocks.
Early Career In Local Radio
Pattinson started his broadcasting career in his early 20s, presenting traffic bulletins for BBC local radio stations in Newcastle and Durham. He then went on to become newsreader for BBC Radio Tees, and then presenter and reporter for BBC Radio Nottingham. In 1984, he joined the newsroom of London’s Classic FM as a newsreader, and in 1988 moved to the BBC’s prestigious Radio Four where he became its main newsreader. He stayed at Radio Four for the rest of his career, presenting The Journal from 1996 to 2005, and becoming one of its lead commentators in 2002. He then presented Newsnight Review, a roundup of the day’s news stories, for three years up until his retirement in 2008.
Career In National Media
Pattinson left radio to concentrate on his work in national media. He presented BBC World News from 2007 to 2010, and has also been a regular guest on news programs including BBC Breakfast, BBC Today, and CBS This Morning. In 2013, he became a regular guest host of the Daily podcast, The Political podcast, and has also reported for BBC News websites. He has continued to work with national media organizations, becoming a frequent contributor to the Sun and the Daily Mail. He is also a contributing editor to New Statesman magazine and has written for several other titles including The Times newspaper and The Spectator magazine.
Involvement In Local Issues
Pattinson has been involved with charity work since his early days in radio when he presented annual telethons for Children’s Radio. He has also been a patron of several organizations, including the National Trust, the National Youth Agency, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and Comic Relief.
Pattinson has been vocal about his support for Brexit and has often turned up at rallies and demonstrations supporting the ongoing Brexit process. He has also been highly critical of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, appearing on radio shows and at public events to voice his opinion. His political views have caused rifts with some of his former colleagues at the BBC, with one describing him as “right-wing, racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic.” However, he has stated that he isn’t like this, and maintains that he was simply expressing his opinion as a journalist. He has also said that he doesn’t regret any of his opinions, and feels that he was just doing his job as a journalist by expressing them. He became heavily involved in UKIP politics in the run-up to the 2015 general election, and was listed as the 4th most influential person in UKIP behind only Nigel Farage, Arron Banks, and Paul Andrew. In January 2017, he was one of five public figures who were found in a Facebook group sharing white nationalist and far-right memes and posts. The group was labeled as ‘dangerous’ by the company that runs Facebook in the UK, and the individuals involved were stripped of their jobs and had their public figures stripped as a result of the information being posted on social media.
Now that he has retired from his work at the BBC, Pattinson is looking to the future, wanting to continue to speak his mind and get his views across. He has said that he intends to continue writing for national newspapers and magazines, and becoming more active on social media and at events. He also wants to set up a news website of his own, which he is currently looking to finance through crowdfunding.
Pattinson has been a trailblazer for black and Asian people in journalism, reporting on issues which affect us, and being representative of us in media. He has said:
“There are very few Asian faces and voices in British media. The number of Asian journalists is on the decline and it’s important we don’t forget those that we lost along the way. I want to use my public profile to help increase the number of diverse faces and voices in British journalism, not just now but in the future.”
If you’re looking for resources on this topic, you could check out the Journalism Trust’s short film, The State of Ethnicity in British Media, which traces the history of race and media representation in the UK. You can also find a number of podcast interviews featuring Pattinson on our Resources page, or visit our blog archives to read our full coverage of his career.