Prominent Brexiteers have supported the suggestion the new BBC chairman could cancel Have I Got News For You.
The programme took to Twitter to warn that if the government goes ahead with recruiting Charles Moore for chairman of the BBC, and Paul Dacre as boss of OFCOM it is unlikely to survive.
So that’s 30 years then, but if Paul Dacre and Charles Moore take those jobs we’re unlikely to see another five, and nor is the BBC. pic.twitter.com/MY7Xo8sFZ2
— Have I Got News For You (@haveigotnews) September 28, 2020
Celebrating 30 years since the programme first aired – on September 28, 1990 – the programme tweeted: “So that’s 30 years then, but if Paul Dacre and Charles Moore take those jobs we’re unlikely to see another five, and nor is the BBC”.
The tweet attracted criticism from Brexiteers, who called for the programme to go.
“You could try bringing back humour rather than pointless lefty drivel,” wrote Arron Banks.
Darren Grimes wrote: “But remember: the BBC isn’t biased towards the Left.”
Daniel Hannan tweeted: “The country voted for Brexit and for a Conservative government. But the BBC is horrified at the idea of Brexiteers or Tories in senior positions. That, in a nutshell, is the BBC’s problem.”
Right-wing campaign group Turning Point said: “Another lefty account trying to threaten the people with good news”.
“The real mystery is how it has lasted this long. Self-satisfied bubble dwelling hacks laughing at their own hackneyed quips is not entertainment,” claimed The Leave Alliance.
Former Brexit Party MEP Martin Daubney wrote: “The fact HIGNFY recognises it might get the chop if non-wokes get the top BBC jobs is the most spectacular self-own of 2020”.
Another wrote: “If there is no prejudice or bias in their output, then why would they be worried? Seems they just proved their justification for closure.”
Others, however, suggested the programme had helped elevate Boris Johnson to prime minister and mayor of London, and had contributed to the successes of careers of other politicians.
“You gave us Boris. You now need to repent. He’s made sure no other political buffoon can follow in his footsteps,” said JMP Adams.
Another noted: “There’s a fair chance Boris wouldn’t be PM without HIGNFY”.
“Boris Johnson owes his political career to his appearance on HIGNFY. But sure, it’s all ‘lefty drivel’,” added a third.
Last year panelist Ian Hislop denied the programme was responsible for Johnson’s success, pointing out there were appearances from many others who did not go on the bigger successes.
“You can’t just not have people on television in the hope that maybe other people should be more popular,” reasoned Hislop. “You have to deal with Boris. You can’t just say ‘well anyone who’s charming and can get a laugh out of a room shouldn’t be on because people are too stupid to see through them’.”