July 15, 2020
The Andrew Neil Show has been axed, the BBC announced on Wednesday, as it revealed a further 70 jobs are to be cut on top of 450 announced earlier this year.
The Andrew Neil Show Has Been Axed By The BBC
The additional posts to be lost are all from BBC News and are due to increased financial pressure because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the broadcaster said.
The political programme, which has been off air during the crisis, will not return to screens.
A BBC spokesperson said: “We remain committed to Andrew Neil’s in-depth interviews, as well as the Budget, US election and other specials. The Andrew Neil Show will not be returning but we’re in discussions about a new interview series on BBC One.”
Despite only hitting TV screens in September last year, it played an outsized part in the General Election when Boris Johnson refused to appear after Jeremy Corbyn was mauled on the show.
Neil even went so far as to issue a challenge to the PM to commit to an interview with him in a powerful straight-to-camera monologue.
In the key section of his message, the BBC presenter said the theme running through the questions he would ask is “trust”, and why “in so many times in his career, critics and sometimes even those close to him, have deemed him to be untrustworthy”.“It is not too late. We have an interview prepared. Oven-ready, as Mr Johnson likes to say”Andrew Neil issues a challenge for Boris Johnson to commit to an interview with him, to face questions on why people have “deemed him to be untrustworthy”https://t.co/daHLxEYn4rpic.twitter.com/oQ21uDdtJe— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) December 5, 2019Johnson never accepted the chance to be scrutinised and even hid in a fridge to avoid being questioned by a Good Morning Britain reporter.
Speaking of the wider cuts to BBC News, director of BBC News and Current Affairs Fran Unsworth, said that “Covid-19 has changed all of our lives” and “we are still covering the most challenging story of our lifetimes”.
She added: “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.”
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