“I loved doing The News Quiz, and it was great,” she told the crowd today at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. “But I’m not a person who looks back, despite my love of history. I don’t look back in my life – I move forward.
“I haven’t heard [the new version], but that’s only because I haven’t had the time. Miles Jupp is brilliant, and I suspect he will be fantastic. Mostly, what you learn in life is that you’re replaceable.
“I loved doing it, but now I look forward to doing the next thing.”
The News Quiz’s new host Miles Jupp
Speaking at Cheltenham to promote her latest children’s book A Slice of the Moon, Toksvig also described how The News Quiz inspired her to form the Women’s Equality Party after years of frustration over the news stories the series covered.
“I have been doing the News Quiz on Radio 4 for… well I’ve been on it for 23 years, and hosting it for nine,” she said. “And talk about history being cyclical – I have watched politicians come and go, and the same battles being fought over and over again. And nothing has changed if we’re going to be honest.”
“You get to a moment where you decide, ‘I can either sit and shout at the television, or I can get up off my bottom and do something about it.’ I’m tired of the fact that we do not have gender equality in this country.”
“I’m passionate about the BBC. Passionate,” she said. “My parents met at the BBC, my father trained at the BBC, my mother was there – if you cut me open it will say BBC, running through me like a stick of rock.
“It is the greatest brand this country has ever produced, and woe betide any government that tries to destroy it. I really am so passionate about the BBC. I’ve travelled into what I can only describe as difficult parts of the world, into very remote corners of the world to create documentaries. And you say BBC and they smile.”
She concluded: “It is the greatest calling card of this country, so I would be very sad about any attempt made to destroy it.”