The BBC Radio 2 presenter talks to Justin Brierley about faith, doubt and Strictly Come Dancing.
Vine’s BBC TV career began as a political reporter in Britain, later becoming their Africa correspondent in the 1990s. He went on to become a familiar face on Newsnight, Panorama, Crimewatch and the BBC’s election coverage. Latterly his onscreen appearances have branched out to entertainment as well, hosting the quiz show Eggheads for many years, and lasting until week eight on Strictly Come Dancing in 2015 (one of his personal career highlights).
The transition from hardnosed Jeremy Paxman-like political interrogator to national broadcasting treasure owes much to The Jeremy Vine Show he has hosted every weekday since 2003. Vine says that radio is about “a conversation”. It allowed him the space to connect at a personal level and was a key factor in his transformation into the cheerful, down-to earth personality he is known as today.
Many of Vine’s fans might be unaware they’re listening to a Christian. The presenter says that he keeps his faith ‘off-air’ and rarely grants interviews about it. In his new book What I Learnt: What My Listeners Say – and Why We Should Take Notice the mention of his Christianity only occupies a page or two near the end.
But Vine is certainly happy to talk about it to me, and admits that, despite growing up in a strongly Christian background, his adult relationship with faith was an on-off affair for a long time. Today he’s settled in a place where, while things are not as black and white as they were in the charismatic evangelical church he grew up in, he nevertheless believes that “Jesus really was who he said he was”.
• Full story at Premier Christianity.