Jonathon Dimbleby, a doyen BBC current affairs programmes, marked 25 years as chairman of BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? at Lympstone Parish Church earlier this month.

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Any Questions? was first broadcast on Friday, October 12 1948, making it the longest-running live discussion programme in the world.

Jonathan took over in September 1987 of that year in the first programme was in the company of then secretary of state for the department of trade and Industry Norman Tebbitt and Labour Deputy leader Roy Hattersley.

They returned, at the invitation of Lympstone WI, alongside Peter Hennessy, the writer and constitutional historian, and Carole Stone, who produced Jonathan’s first programme as well as a decade more of Any Questions?

Jonathan Dimbleby said before the show: “I obviously looked so nervous ahead of my first programme that as we went on stage, Roy patted me on the shoulder and said ‘don’t worry, it will be alright’. I’ll try not to show it this time around and am looking forward to having a great panel for the launch of my next 25 years in the Any Questions? chair.”

After the broadcast he was presented with a cake by Lympstone WI’s Diana DeLarue (pictured) and piece of roof from the old BBC Television Centre presented by the production team.

He added: “I am also grateful for holding the 25th Anniversary programme here in Lympstone. My wife will be espeically pleased because it means I have only a 40 minute drive to get home!””

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