He replied: “I am sorry for all the mistakes that were made on this network” but continued to blame the unions for most of the problems rail users face. Carrie Gracie was widely praised for her appearance on Radio 4’s Today Programme as she spoke fluent Mandarin before listening to a recording of a Labour MP calling for her to be Director General of the BBC.Her co-presenter Nick Robinson spoke about the furore around her resignation as China Editor, and the BBC’s alleged equal pay issue, as she sat beside him, unable to comment on her own case because of the BBC’s impartiality rules.Mr Robinson appeared to find the humour in this, saying: “I was really worried you might ask me to try some Mandarin there”, before introducing the segment on BBC pay by telling listeners the new Culture Secretary Matt Hancock was discussing “a certain BBC colleague who can speak Mandarin”.Ms Gracie’s colleagues then played a recording of Labour MP Chris Bryant saying: “The point is actually to bring about change, maybe Carrie Gracie should be made, I dunno, chair of the BBC!”He also suggested Today presenter John Humphrys take a 50 per cent pay cut.Former BBC presenter Giles Dinot tweeted: “Top trolling by @BBCCarrie of the BBC on air. Having resigned as China Editor over the gender pay gap speaks flawless Mandarin on Today programme before her own story is the predominant feature in Yesterday in Parliament where @RhonddaBryant calls for her to be chair of the BBC.” Impressed by Carrie Gracie….#r4today— Imran #FBPE (@imrrrrran) January 10, 2018 … then she sits (silent) alongside @bbcnickrobinson as a powerful segment on parliamentary discussion of her case unfolds… #BBCWomen— Tom Hartley (@tom_hartley) January 10, 2018 Carrie Gracie giving Chris Grayling a really tough time on #r4today. Any chance of making her a permanent appointment?— Kevin Schofield (@PolhomeEditor) January 10, 2018 @BBCCarrie great on @BBCRadio4 today— Lisa De Propris (@ldepropris) January 10, 2018 Many also praised the journalist’s questioning of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling after a damning report into railway standards was released. She asked Mr Grayling whether he was going to be apologising for the state of the railways.He replied: “I was very clear 18 months ago when I took over as Secretary of State that the situation with Southern was unacceptable…there were a number of things we did to sort it out…but the independent report I commissoned into what had gone wrong…said the unions were primarily to blame.”After he blamed the unions for the issues with the railways, which the report said included cancellations, delays and bad value for money, Ms Gracie asked him whether he was “passing the buck.”She said, “I still haven’t heard the word ‘sorry’. The National Audit Office makes specific criticisms of your department.”The Transport Secretary replied: “I am extremely sorry that passengers on Southern have had such a difficult time, but most passengers on that network today will say over the past year things have got much better.”However, Ms Gracie then replied that he should apologise specifically for decisions the Department for Transport made, which the report said included failing to provide enough drivers and not paying enough attention to the impact of industrial action on the railways, as well as not paying attention to the poor quality of the rail network itself. Viewers said they were impressed by the former China Editor’s performance on the show. Great stuff from @BBCCarrie on #r4today, cutting through the waffle and not letting Chris Grayling slither off the hook.— Sarah Hemming (@SarahHemm) January 10, 2018 @BBCCarrie – woah – you bite Chris Grayling – Finally some bite in #today #BBCR4today – worth listening to Today this morning. Thank you Journalism at its best.Surprised Grayling did not do a runner— Ratlos (@MuenchenLondon) January 10, 2018 I’d love to hear @BBCCarrie on #r4today regularly, a breath of fresh air.— I’m not really called Jack (@Jackcabnory) January 10, 2018 @BBCCarrie Can I just say what a wonderful addition to the Today Programme you are-far less combative in your interviewing style than others— James 🏳️🌈 (@Jkbmedic) January 10, 2018 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.