When it Hits the Fan: Former Sun newspaper editor and royal spin-doctor front new BBC podcast

For Radio 4

All publicity is good publicity – or is it?

PHOTO: L-R: David Yelland, Simon Lewis


BBC Radio 4

On 6 September, BBC Radio 4 is launching an exciting new podcast, When it Hits the Fan, which takes a look at who is in the news for all the wrong reasons.

The front pages often dominate the national conversation, but what happens when a person or an entire organisation find themselves in the midst of a media storm? What’s really going on behind the scenes in boardrooms and private messaging groups as they attempt to navigate the choppy waters of press and public opinion?

When It Hits The Fan is hosted by two of the most influential and experienced people in the game; David Yelland is the former editor of the Sun - who has since spent two decades at the top of the communications industry advising major companies and individuals, often in crisis situations. Alongside him is Simon Lewis, former Communications Chief for the late Queen and Gordon Brown, as well as for major corporations like NatWest, Vodafone and Centrica. Together they bring decades of experience in both following and managing crises. They’ll share all they know about what’s keeping those big stories in and out of the news.

In each episode, our hosts go behind the scenes of the latest news stories and find out how, where and when it all began to hit the fan. They will explore the different strategies deployed by the PR professionals, paid to manage the reputation of their clients, and shed light on the media machine and how it operates. What advice is being given behind closed doors?

David Yelland says: "My career is a game of two halves: the first half causing crises at The Sun and New York Post and the second half advising the companies and individuals actually in the middle of those crises. The time has come to lift a lid on what actually happens when 'it’ hits the fan. I can’t think of a better person to be doing this with than Simon."

Simon Lewis says: "During my career in communications, I have been in the room during some extraordinary moments in corporate and public life. Every crisis is different but what David and I are aiming to do in this series is to look under the bonnet of fast moving situations to analyse and interpret what is actually going on when it hits the fan. I am really looking forward to working with David who brings marvellous insights from his unique career."

Rhian Roberts, BBC Commissioning Editor for Radio 4 Podcasts, Formats and Digital, says: "David and Simon are our best guides to the exact moment the proverbial hits the fan and what’ll be going on behind the scenes to fix it. This is the podcast for anyone who’s ever wondered about the origins of a monumental PR cock up."

When it Hits the Fan will air weekly every Wednesday at 9pm on BBC Radio 4 and be available on demand on BBC Sounds.

• When it Hits the Fan is a Raconteur production for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.

• Executive Editor: William Miller

• Commissioned by Rhian Roberts, BBC Commissioning Editor for Radio 4 Podcasts, Formats and Digital.

• Producer: Eve Streeter

Source BBC Radio 4

September 4, 2023 3:00am ET by BBC Radio 4  

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