Robert Peston has said that he thinks of himself as “the Marmite of broadcasters” because of the way he has been perceived by the public and the press since he joined the BBC.
As he co-hosted an event with Eddie Mair at the Radio Times Festival, the economics editor said; “more or less the moment I arrived at the BBC, some people took against me. I think of myself as the Marmite of broadcasters. Some people love me, some people absolutely hate me.”
Throughout his time at the Corporation, Peston has attracted comment for his unconventional broadcasting style, telling the Radio Times in June this year that the BBC sent him on a course to work on his broadcasting style after “lots of people immediately started complaining that they hated the way I sounded.”
At the Festival today he said, “I think I am a mildly more proficient broadcaster than I was when I started but I’m certainly not an identikit Mr Smooth broadcaster.
“The thing that went my way was the financial crisis, because people started to think that was I was saying might be worth listening to. So I was the only person in this country who owes an enormous debt to the appalling behaviour of our banks. Because people basically decided that what I was saying mattered more than how I was saying it.”
Peston also addressed the criticism he received for not wearing a tie during his Newsnight debut last week.
“Personally I think these TV conventions are nuts. I didn’t not wear a tie out of disrespect for the chancellor, I didn’t wear a tie because actually I don’t really like wearing ties. And I sort of think the notion that what makes you a serious journalist is wearing a tie is bonkers.”