The final programme titles
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Original network||BBC Two|
|Original release||20 October 1998 –|
20 December 2002
|Preceded by||The Midnight Hour|
|Followed by||This 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. 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.
- Cozens, Claire (19 September 2002). "Fact file: Despatch Box". MediaGuardian. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
- Andrew Neil to host BBC's 'Despatch Box' replacement Paul Waugh. The Independent. 2 November 2002
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