Despatch Box

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Despatch Box
BBC News Despatch Box.jpg
The final programme titles
Presented by
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Production company(s)BBC
Original networkBBC Two
Original release20 October 1998 (1998-10-20) –
20 December 2002 (2002-12-20)
Preceded byThe Midnight Hour
Followed byThis Week

Despatch Box was a late night political analysis television programme produced by the BBC and broadcast on BBC Two between 20 October 1998 and 20 December 2002. The programme was a replacement for the nightly political programme The Midnight Hour, and like its predecessor, was initially presented by a team of single-presenter journalists, rotated nightly, consisting of Zeinab Badawi, Michael Dobbs, Andrew Neil and Steve Richards; the programme regularly gained an audience of more than 350,000 viewers.[1] Following a change of format, it was decided that the programme should have one, regular presenter, a role for which Andrew Neil was chosen; the programme was produced at the BBC's Millbank studios in London.

Following changes to sitting hours in the United Kingdom parliament, and extensive changes to the BBC's line-up of political programmes, Despatch Box was discontinued, and the programme's then regular presenter, Andrew Neil, moved on to present the Daily Politics and This Week.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cozens, Claire (19 September 2002). "Fact file: Despatch Box". MediaGuardian. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  2. ^ Andrew Neil to host BBC's 'Despatch Box' replacement Paul Waugh. The Independent. 2 November 2002