The former Politics Live host and stalwart of the BBC’s political coverage announced today he will be moving on to become Chairman of GB News, a new service set to be launched in the New Year. It comes after Mr Neil’s show – The Andrew Neil Show – was axed. The journalist said today on Twitter that, while some alternative avenues had been explored to keep him at the BBC, the “damage is done”.
He said: “With heavy heart (sic) I announce I will be leaving the BBC. Despite sterling efforts by new DG (Director General) to come up with other programming opportunities, it could not quite repair damage done when Andrew Neil Show cancelled early summer and Politics Live taken off air.
“But I leave with no animosity or desire to settle scores. I look back on my 25 years doing live political programmes for the BBC with affection.
“And gratitude for brilliant colleagues at Millbank, who always made sure I went into the studio fully briefed and equipped for the fray.”
He added: “There could have been a different outcome but for reasons too dull to adumbrate, we’ll leave it there. I wish the BBC and the new DG well. The BBC will always be special to me.”
Andrew Neil news: He will leave the BBC
Andrew Neil news: Neil with fellow BBC host Andrew Marr
As Mr Neil departs the BBC after 25 years of live broadcasting, he admitted he felt confused by the “lack of clarity over his future”.
During an interview with the Radio Times in July, Mr Neil acknowledged that he might have become “surplus to requirements at the BBC”, as companies across the board have been “making cut-backs”.
He said: “I would like to be doing more shows, of course I would.
“I don’t know what’s happening.”
Andrew Neil news: Neil has broadcasted for the BBC for 25 years
He continued: “There’s no clarity at the moment, so I’m just waiting for the BBC to make up its mind.”
The split comes as the coronavirus pandemic puts financial pressure on the public broadcaster.
After it was revealed that The Andrew Neil Show would be cancelled, Director of BBC News and Current Affairs Fran Unsworth said: “Covid-19 has changed all of our lives. We are still covering the most challenging story of our lifetimes.
Andrew Neil savages Boris over new coronavirus rules [INSIGHT]
Andrew Neil brutally mocks SNP campaigner after Battle of Britain jibe [ANALYSIS]
Andrew Neil sends Scot independence fans into meltdown [INSIGHT]
Andrew Neil news: He will become Chairman of GB News
Andrew Neil news: The BBC axed his show
“During this crisis audiences have turned to BBC News in their millions and I’m incredibly proud of what we, as a team, have been able to achieve.
“But if we don’t make changes, we won’t be sustainable. This crisis has led us to re-evaluate exactly how we operate as an organisation. And our operation has been underpinned by the principles we set out earlier this year – fewer stories, more targeted and with more impact.
“We’re aiming to reach everyone, every day. For BBC News to thrive, and for us to continue to serve all our audiences, we have to change.”
Source:Daily Express :: UK Feed