David Jordan entered television journalism by accident. He started his working
life in pressure
groups and worked for Age Concern England, at The Low Pay Unit (with its then
director Frank Field)
and at the GMB Union. He became an expert on low pay, poverty and social
pamphlets and contributing to a number of books on related subjects. In 1984,
in the middle of the
miners' strike, he was recruited to Weekend World, the flagship current affairs
programme at London
Weekend Television, then presented by Brian Walden.
In 1988 he joined his Weekend World colleague David Aaronovitch in a move to the
BBC to help set up
'On The Record'. In 1989 he became its Deputy Editor. He was Deputy Editor of
'Panorama' between 1990
and 1992 and whilst there he originated and edited its award-winning expose of
Robert Maxwell. As
Acting Editor he took the programme through the 1992 General Election before returning
to 'On The Record'
as its Editor.
Between 1994 and 1995 he spent a year on attachment as the BBC's Chief Political
getting back just in time to cover the resignation and re-election of John Major as
Party Leader in 1995.
Whilst at 'On The Record' he has supervised some of the seminal political interviews
of the past
decade, as well as promoting the unique graphic style of the programme epitomised
by its emblematic
crocodile in the title sequence.
There have been plenty of hair-raising moments along the way though, including on
the first ever
programme. Twenty minutes to air and there was still no sign in the studio of the
Douglas Hurd, then Home Secretary. As the team's nerves frayed and the minutes ticked
by, one of them
rang security at the programme's Lime Grove offices to see if he had gone there by
mistake. 'No' came
the reply, 'I haven't seen the Home Secretary. But there's been a white-haired old
here for the past half hour'. The interview went ahead on time - just.