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Live from Downing Street | [Nick Robinson]

Live from Downing Street

The relationship between those who wield power and those whose job it is to tell us what they are doing has always been fraught with tension. Politicians now expect to be on camera and facing aggressive questions from the moment they open their front door to the moment they return home at night. Everything they say and do is instantly broadcast and dissected on 24-hour news channels, blogs, and Twitter. It was not always this way. Live from Downing Street takes us on an absorbing journey through the hard-fought battles for the right to tell the public about the decisions taken on their behalf.
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Publisher's Summary

The relationship between those who wield power and those whose job it is to tell us what they are doing has always been fraught with tension. Politicians now expect to be on camera and facing aggressive questions from the moment they open their front door to the moment they return home at night. Everything they say and do is instantly broadcast and dissected on 24-hour news channels, blogs, and Twitter. It was not always this way.

Live from Downing Street takes us on an absorbing journey through the hard-fought battles for the right to tell the public about the decisions taken on their behalf. Parliament once imprisoned those who dared to report what MPs had said. Broadcasters used to be banned by law from debating anything newsworthy and even from covering elections. Since that censorship ended, the two sides have clashed repeatedly. We follow the fluctuations of the power struggle from Walpole to modern times, dwelling in fascinating detail on those who fought back - Churchill, Wilson, Thatcher, and Blair.

At the same time we learn of the emergence of the equally charismatic key players from radio and television: the Dimblebys, Day, Frost, Walden, Paxman, and Humphrys. Nick Robinson provides a colourful and personal examination of what life is like as the BBC’s Political Editor – a role described in a report for the White House as "the most important job in British political journalism".

Peppered with informative but witty anecdotes, his account reveals his own considered view of the controversial issue of impartial reporting. Live from Downing Street is a gripping story written by someone uniquely placed to add his own perceptive insights and observations.

©2012 Nick Robinson (P)2012 Random House AudioGo 2012

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Andrew LONDON, United Kingdom 06-10-13
    Andrew LONDON, United Kingdom 06-10-13 Member Since 2012

    reviewer

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent - very accessible and easy listening"

    Was pleasantly surprised that it included a sort of mini-history of the BBC and news journalism, which makes this book much more interesting than simply a potted-history of 10 Downing Street's reporting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MRS Canada 12-06-12
    MRS Canada 12-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Early days and peculiar ways of BBC"
    What made the experience of listening to Live from Downing Street the most enjoyable?

    The incredible stuffiness and inability to realise the value of, first radio, then television. The fact that it took the Queen to put down a firm fott with regard to the planning of her coronation


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Live from Downing Street?

    the interesting conversations and quick, witty exchanges


    Which scene was your favorite?

    President Bush 43 telling Nick to cover his Bald spot'
    Nick, mistakenly thinking he was out of earshot muttered, I didn't know you cared
    Bush . I don't


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Do stop asking this daft question. It took nearly a week of careful listening. Then I started it all over again and found stuff I had missed the first time


    Any additional comments?

    Fascinating. I even twittered him admiringly

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • John
    Shipley, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Live from Downing Street"

    I am a great fan of political memoirs but often find them very plodding over detailed as the author goes from childhood to the last gasp of his subject. Nick Robinson account of political life during his time is detailed, fresh and witty. He manages to portray an intimate knowledge of his subject without subjecting his readers to endless detail which does not enhance the picture or enjoyment of the book.A five star read from an author who knows his subject well.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Harrogate, United Kingdom
    12/14/12
    Overall
    "Interesting Book, Appalling Accents"

    Great content. Well narrated too apart from possibly the worst attempt at almost every kind of accent you care to mention. Still worth listening to, just brace yourself.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • H. L. Mason
    Spain
    1/1/13
    Overall
    "A VERY EASY LISTEN"

    The is a very enjoyable, well written and very well read political potboiler. Whilst not exactly ground breaking, it is nevertheless a well compiled review of the author's career and the political leaders that populate it. Although it didn't tell me too much that I hadn't read about in various places, it certainly held my attention and I enjoyed enough to give it 4 stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bill
    London, United Kingdom
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Very topical"

    A fascinating book. I think what you will take away is a good appreciation of how the BBC works with its constituents (the licence payers) and its titular (assumed by the titulator) 'boss', the government of its day. I was sorry to hear this book end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Toby
    8/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting, very interesting."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Yes i would. Nick Robinson surveys the history of the press and parliment breifly until he goes in to detail of his own experience reporting on Blair and Brown. He also dwells on subjects like objectivity of the BBC.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Nick Robinson? Why or why not?

    No. Unless he presents a purely political book but that isn't likely. This book is the condensed knowledge of his experience working in Political News.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Shepherd’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Is a servicable performance. He does the job. His voice is not irritating but it's hardly excellant.


    Did Live from Downing Street inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John
    Richmond, United Kingdom
    3/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insightful and interesting"
    Where does Live from Downing Street rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best


    What other book might you compare Live from Downing Street to, and why?

    The Journey by Tony Blair


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Power in the raw...


    Any additional comments?

    I understand why Nick could not narrate this book whilst he still works for the BBC, but it would have been great to have heard the book through his voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ann
    Newcastle, England
    2/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good, but not one of the best in the genre!"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I don't think the extensive history of political journalism fitted very well. A little would have been appropriate, but there was so much that, together with the chapters on more modern times, it felt like two separate books!


    Would you recommend Live from Downing Street to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would say, its a good listen for the section an individual might prefer (I skipped several chapters and I rarely do that), but I'd suggest they read/listen to Andrew Rawnsley's excellent 'The End of the Party' in preference if they haven't read it already! Also Andrew Marr does the history better.


    What does Simon Shepherd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    It was narrated well, but the advantage to the audio book are not about the narrator!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • mr.nn.pardo-roques
    Barnt Green, United Kingdom
    2/3/13
    Overall
    "A good insight into the Blair/Brown years"

    A good insight into the Blair brown years, but I found the history of political journalism quite boring. Still an interesting book all in all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results

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