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71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book For All
The face of Nick Robinson will be familiar to anyone who has watched a BBC News bulletin in recent years and heard those immortal words "Live from Downing Street". I have grown to like Mr Robinson's easy style of reporting political stories, most of which can be pretty heavy going. He has a pleasant easy going manner and explains without patronising the viewer. His book...
Published 20 months ago by Martin Beecroft

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been an excellent book, if it knew what it was about!
What is "Live from Downing Street"? Is it a history of British political broadcasting, an examination of the evolving role of the Prime Minister through the creation of mass media, a consideration of the relationship between Parliament and the media, a look at the growing rift between the BBC and Government, a political thesis, or Nick Robinson's memoir...
Published 3 months ago by Michael Warren


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5.0 out of 5 stars The pineapple done good...., 29 Nov 2012
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D. Whitehead "Stagsman" (Leeds, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book was a treat. Nick Robinson writes in such an easily understandable and immensely readable style that I zipped through the pages and learned so much about broadcasters relationships with politicians. Today's 24/7 news availability and reporting is light years ahead of the early days of radio and TV and Robinson takes us on an evolutionary journey that is enlightening, educational and, sometimes, a little disturbing. The personalities of Prime Ministers are brought clearly into focus and almost all seemed to have a dislike for the BBC - while cosying up to the new kids on the block - ITN and Sky.And the bullying tactics of the spin doctors borders on an almost pathological hatred when the Beeb eventually refuses to be bullied. This book was written by a man who obviously relishes his role and his relish brought me considerable enjoyment. And why "The pineapple"? Well that's because..... hey ..... buy the book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Politics like it is., 28 Nov 2012
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No nonsense tit bits from the man with style. Puts a bit of credibility to political reporting.
Well written and would make a great Christmas present.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining, 28 Nov 2012
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I'm still reading this book. It is both extremely interesting and revealing. Thoroughly good read. I would recommend it to anyone who watches the news. Be warned......once you pick up this book, it's very difficult to put down!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Downing Street, 26 Nov 2012
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A. E. Walley (UK) - See all my reviews
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A Christmas present for my husband. It will keep him busy for a while and as he loves politics and history I think he will find it fascinating.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best non-fiction books I have ever read, 10 Feb 2013
Before I read this book I did not like Nick Robinson.

As a fellow journalist I found his reports on BBC News over the top and irritating. His commentary annoyed me because, I felt, he spoke more like a politician.

But after seeing a charming, witty and respectable self-deprecating side to him on The One Show, I decided to give the book a chance and within a few pages I had warmed to him. By the end I adored him and now consider him one of my journalistic heroes.

Partly autobiographical, 'Live From Downing Street' is a captivating tale of how the news media helped create democracy in Britain by fighting to ensure politicians could be held to account. Despite the reservations I have about my profession most of us don't realise how lucky we are to have independent news that allows wrongdoing by the government to be exposed and for clear and concise debate - a view with which many politicians, including Winston Churchill, would disagree.

Robinson, a man many people wrongfully think is still a Tory, maintains the same level of impartiality as on TV. He has a remarkable skill of putting the most complex situations into just a few lines. It's amazing the book is long!

This book is a treat and a delight. One not to be missed! Thank you, Nick Robinson.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating stuff!, 21 Jan 2013
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Great pressie for someone interested in political anecdotes..really interesting and contained some intriguing photos! Good value for a hard backed book too.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Symbiotic relationship..., 17 Jan 2013
By 
FictionFan (Kirkintilloch, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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Nick Robinson has managed to do in print what he does so well on a daily basis on TV: communicate interestingly, informatively and enjoyably. He has divided this book into two parts - before and during his own involvement in reporting on politics.

The first part covers the history and growth of political journalism from its earliest days, showing that some of the tensions we see between present-day politicians and journalists have always existed since their symbiotic relationship began. He recounts the fight for journalists to have access to parliament, first as a presence in the press gallery, then the later development of the 'lobby' and finally the struggle to get MPs to agree to televised coverage of the House. Not surprisingly, a lot of his story is focused on the BBC, first as a radio broadcasting organisation then moving into television. Well researched and presented, he shows how the famous BBC 'impartiality' came into being, and how it has been consistently called into question throughout the Beeb's history.

The second half mainly covers the Blair/Brown years. By this point, Robinson was covering politics himself and the book takes on a more personal, partly autobiographical tone. As he relates the story of the years of spin and the increasing conflict between media and politicians, he openly questions where the faults lay and while he places some of the blame on the politicians he doesn't shy away from criticism of journalists, including his BBC colleagues and himself. We are treated to a surprisingly sympathetic, revealing and almost intimate view of both Blair and Brown from this man who spent years following each around the globe. This, of course, was the period of the Iraq war, the global crash and, not least, two major inquiries into the relationship between media and politicians: Hutton and then Leveson, which had not yet reported at the time the book was written. His insights into the political background of all of these events are fascinating as he reflects on the role of the media in each.

In the afterword, Robinson discusses the possible future, focussing on whether impartiality will remain desirable or even possible in the Twitter/Facebook age. He suggests that there is a strengthening body of opinion that there may be a place in broadcasting for bias, much in the way that Fox TV has changed the face of broadcasting in the US. It is clear that his own bias, however, is to defend the principle of impartiality - without dismissing the problems that are inherent within the current system, he clearly believes it is still better than the alternative.

In summary, an interesting and thought-provoking book, well and approachably written and impressively objective on the whole. It is brave for a working journalist to discuss so openly the strengths and weaknesses of his profession and himself - I felt that, as he wrote, Robinson was critically reconsidering and reassessing his own past performance and I will be intrigued to see if his future reporting is influenced by what seemed, at times, as if he were undergoing a reflective learning experience. Highly recommended.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live from Downing Street, 6 Nov 2012
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In a word bloody brilliant and so funny and entertaining will done nick Robinson I will look for your work in future cause its truthful
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nick Robinson, 23 Feb 2013
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A bit disappointing as there is a great deal about Nick & his family life and not so much detail about the actual title which I felt would detail more political tales
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expected more, 18 Dec 2012
By 
John Wilson (Buckinghamshire UK) - See all my reviews
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a useful historical perspective, but I suspect the book he will write on his retirement will have much more punch
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