Above: The final CNNTalk with the core team 24/6/19

In May 2017 CNN International started a show called CNNTalk. It started out as a once a week panel show with Max Foster presenting, with me, Ayesha Hazarika and Liam Halligan as the panelists. We'd discuss one subject for half an hour. It soon proved very popular and the CNN bosses in Atlanta loved it. It soon went to three days a week and then five. Ayesha, Liam and I continued to do three days a week with other panellists coming in for the other two, including Brian Claas, Freddy Gray, Bonnie Greer, Kate Andrews, Rachel Shabi, Nina Schick, George Pascoe-Watson, Afua Hirsch, Jacqui Smith, Zoe Williams, Andrew Macdougall and Stig Abel.

cnn westminster

Max is a brilliant host and hugely popular with the CNN audience. He also doubles as the CNN London and Royal correspondent. He was often away doing royal reporting and had some able deputies in Hannah Vaughan-Jones, Isa Soares and Bianca Nobilo.

But all good things come to an end, and this week that is what is happening to CNNTalk. So Friday marks the last CNNTalk, for the time being anyway. We may return for one-off specials.


I know I speak for Ayesha and Liam when I say it's one of the best things I have ever done, and that it taught me a huge amount. It became a running joke with Max that I would walk into the studio and say I knew nothing about the subject and would be thoroughly useless, and then at the end he would tell me it was one of my better shows! I well remember the episode on 3 D printers which made guns. I still can't remember how I made it through that one!


I also recall an episode whe Christiane Amanpour joined us live from Vietnam where she was covering the Trump/Kim summit. Christiane is one of the most brilliant journalists of our time, and we were all in awe of her. But she said something which I disagreed with so I interrupted her and said "With the greatest respect, Christiane, I don't think that's right..." and went on to explain why. I remember Max, Ayesha and Liam looking at me in absolute horror. How could I possibly have done that! Twitter noticed too. But Christiane loved it, as she told me when I saw her a few days later. I'm so looking forward to interviewing her in Edinburgh.

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We've enjoyed working with some brilliant people at CNN. First off, we are so grateful to the wonderful Gill Penlington for recruiting us in the first place. She picked the three of us and we just clicked from day one. I'll always be in her debt for giving me this chance, and I hope I repaid her faith in me. 

CNN Ayesha Liam Halligan

We are also hugely indebted to the core editorial team of David Ford, Stephanie Wells, Vicky Bennett, Leroy Ah-Ben, Adam Dunnakey, Krsna Haralela and Hazel Pfeiffer. And not to forget the editorial assistants who made the logistics work - Jaya, Arnaud, Max, Emmet, Josefine and Kieron. And I absolutely apologise if I have missed anyone out!

Sadly I can't be on the final programme on Friday because I'll be in Exeter chairing another hustings, but I will be on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Monday will be the final appearance of the core team of Max, Ayesha, Liam and myself.

So thanks to everyone at CNN and thanks to all our viewes the world over.