The Beeb's Robert Peston (I like to call him "Bobby Pesto" because it sounds like an end-of-pier organist/magician in a sparkly gold jacket) has been a marvellous breath of fresh air in 2008, growling his way merrily along while all around him, disaster strikes and the walls come tumbling down.
For me, Peston's better written down than he is on the telly or radio, which is presumably why he's only maternity cover than the actual big cheese. But showing that tall plants can grow in the shade, he's come into his own this year, cutting through the swathes of bullshit and making the imponderable understandable by the use of those most mystical of skills, writing properly in English and not being a complete bellend about it.
Peston seems like a real journalist. He appears to approach subjects with an open mind and looking for the evidence by which to reach his conclusions, which is why he's not really come unstuck so far. Perhaps he may do so in 2009, but I'm hoping not.
It's nice to have a rather untelevision face on TV as well, if you know what I mean. There's something of a young Ray Reardon, or at the very least a 1970s snooker player, about him - and yet, he wouldn't look out of place in a cricket jumper in Nigel Havers's back garden - something a bit awkwardly shambolic and yet with a laser-guided precision as far as the content's concerned. As he appears to stumble across his ever-lengthening diphthongs, you always feel safe in the knowledge that he's going to land on the right word; it's a high-wire act, but he's got it down to a tee.
2008 was definitely the year of Peston. At a time when the BBC comes under increasing scrutiny by those whose commercial interests are lined up against it, his presence is a voice of sanity, a voice of reason, a calmness amid the mediocrity and hysteria, a proper journalist doing his job rather well. As for life in the spotlight, he seems to be coping pretty admirably. Let's just hope there's more to come.