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Blair helps Echo launch podcasting service with exclusive recording

Tony Blair has helped The Northern Echo launch its new podcasting service, with an exclusive recording for the paper.

The Prime Minister took time out of his busy itinerary during a visit to the Butterwick Hospice, in Stockton, to record a special message for the Echo’s new service.

In an exclusive interview with The Northern Echo’s political editor Chris Lloyd, the PM said he was delighted to be asked to make the first recording.

Although he confessed: “I am pretty ignorant about technology but, in practical terms, I know its important.

“I know from my own children that they have to be able to use it, and use it expertly, but for me it’s all somewhat unfamiliar.

“I am privileged to be part of The Northern Echo’s first podcast but I’m sure it won’t be the last and this is probably the way it will be for the years to come.

“In 100 years time another Prime Minister may be using even better technology to get across what newspapers do, which is inform people about events and launch some fantastic campaigns that make a real difference to people’s lives.”

The recording was a double first for The Northern Echo, as Chris’s interview was also filmed by photographer Chris Booth, who came straight from a Newsquest video training course in Bradford to edit the footage and upload it alongside the podcast on the paper’s new website.

The Northern Echo is planning to offer a wide range of free podcast material, and editor Peter Barron has already recorded one of his popular Dad At Large columns.

Echo stalwart Mike Amos, who was recently awarded an MBE, will also be recording some of his popular columns, and Chris Lloyd’s local history articles and showbusiness interviews are also in preparation.

The Prime Minister’s podcast and video interview can be downloaded at

  • Podcasting is one of the fastest growing broadcasting mediums on the Internet. PC users can listen to podcasts online or download them to a portable device such as an iPod.