Vain and expensive folly only ever benefits the presenters

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It may have been a long time coming, but the distinctive sound of a penny dropping could be heard at Broadcasting House this week.

Helen Boaden, head of news at the BBC, has finally realised that sending news readers all over the world to present their bulletins is a vain and expensive folly which impresses no-one.

‘Sometimes,’ confessed Ms Boaden, ‘we get it wrong.’

The only people to benefit when the likes of Huw Edwards and George Alagiah are despatched to far-flung places such as Libya or Japan to do a job which could be just as easily accomplished in London, are the men themselves.

It burnishes their egos and improves their street cred – but we’re the mugs who are left having to foot the bill.