What the papers say: Media disbelief at Lawley desertion

Sue Lawley’s announcement that she would leave Desert Island Discs in August was greeted with both alarm and incredulity.

'After 19 years, Lawley deserts her island' (The Independent, 13 April); 'Lawley to cast away from Desert Island Discs' (The Guardian, 13 April) read the headlines. MegaStar.co.uk observed that the papers were acting 'like the poor gal has just popped her clogs' (13 April).

Lawley will be remembered as the velvet-gloved interrogator – 'the coolness could turn to icy prodding, the girliness gush when the subject was a screen idol' (The Daily Telegraph, 14 April) – her castaway revelations (the Gordon Brown 'I'm not gay' headlines, for one), and her upward effect on ratings. Lawley described the position as 'one of the best jobs in broadcasting' (The Scotsman, 13 April), so the questions on everyone's lips were: why is she leaving and who will be her successor?

The Sunday Times (16 April) noted Lawley's 'telling silence' to the first (which prompted the headline 'My next request? Get me off the island'); and the bookies are taking bets on the second, with Andrew Marr currently odds-on favourite. R4 listeners may never recover.

Analysis conducted by Echo Research from data supplied to PRWeek from NewsNow.

www.echoresearch.com www.newsnow.co.uk

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