Entertainment & Arts

Libby Purves: Midweek has been 'a blast'

Libby Purves, presenter of Midweek
Image caption Purves pictured in 1984, the year after she started presenting Midweek, and more recently

Broadcaster Libby Purves has hosted her final Midweek on Radio 4 after more than 30 years, saying it had been "a blast" to front the show.

Midweek first aired in 1982, with Purves joining the following year.

She signed out on Wednesday morning by dedicating a song to "all of us tough broads who have been around a while and don't give in".

Midweek is being replaced with a pre-recorded arts programme.

Purves defended the importance of live radio in a tweet after the final show.

When a fan tweeted to say "another bit of live radio bites the dust", Purves replied: "Live radio does matter. We need some that is not purely news. Is about the trust and dignity given to guests, unedited."

She started the final programme by referring to the "elegant parallel" that Article 50 had been triggered on the same day as what she branded "Midwexit".

'Rock on, Libby'

Purves said her last guests on the morning show were all "impressive survivors", as she introduced actress Dame Harriet Walter, former jockey Declan Murphy, singer Suzi Quatro and writer and director Richard Curtis.

When she signed off, she told listeners: "We are sadly out of time. I say goodbye because this has been the last Midweek on Radio 4.

"It has been a blast I have to say. After nearly 34 years, I want to thank all the thousands of guests and dozens of programme teams who have made it so much fun and diverse and surprising and always live."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Richard Curtis, the man behind Red Nose Day, was one of the final Midweek guests

She was applauded by the guests, after Curtis shouted "thank you, Libby!", before a short clip of Quatro's Devil Gate Drive was played.

Purves, 67, said it was for "all of us tough broads who have been around a while and don't give in - come alive on Devil Gate Drive".

After the show ended, the Radio 4 continuity announcer told listeners: "Rock on, Libby."

But could it be the last we've seen of Purves - also a theatre critic - on the station?

When the Today programme cut across to Purves on its broadcast and she was asked if she'd return, she laughed: "I'm an old Radio 4 cockroach - watch your backs!"

When it was announced Midweek would be ending, Radio 4 controller Gwyneth Williams described Purves as a "formidable broadcaster" and praised her for doing an "outstanding job" of presenting Midweek.


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