After chairing his last ever episode of Question Time, David Dimbleby today guest-edited the Today programme. While there were a range of interviews and special guests, it was Dimbleby’s own appearance which piqued Mr S’s interest. The BBC broadcaster managed to come to verbal blows with regular host John Humphrys after Humphrys suggested Dimbleby was quite posh during a discussion on the monarchy.
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) December 22, 2018
DD: I’m sorry, there was a total sneer in that question – ‘you’re quite posh’. I’m about as posh as you are. I come from Wales as you do. I’m not posh, I happen to have been a broadcaster for a long time.
JH: You had a very distinguished father?
DD: Well, that doesn’t make me posh! I had a distinguished father. It’s a ridiculous question. The point is about the monarchy, I am not close to the monarchy, I have met the Queen probably less times than you, I think I’ve met her once.
JH: I don’t know why I made that assumption.
Only in Humphry’s defence, Dimbleby is leading the way when it comes to traditional posh credentials at least. While both originate from Wales, Humphrys is the son of a a hairdresser and a French polisher. Meanwhile, Dimbleby is the son of war correspondent Richard Dimbleby. Dimbleby attended two independent schools both in England – including Charterhouse – while Humphrys attended a grammar school – Cardiff High School – but left at 15 to start work.
But more to the point, perhaps Dimbleby shouldn’t have been so outraged by the line of questioning given his own previous behaviour. When Jacob Rees-Mogg appeared on Question Time in 2015, Dimbleby interrupted the Conservative MP as he talked about his childhood to ask Rees-Mogg to confirm that he attended Eton. Alas, for all of Dimbleby’s wit, the BBC presenter received a reply that he had not been expecting. Rees-Mogg proceeded to confirm that he was referring to his time at the public school, before dropping the host in it by adding that he had attended Eton with… Dimbleby’s son Henry:
If only Dimbleby had replied that he was from Wales…