BBC axes Andrew Neil show as part of cuts to news and politics programming
PUBLISHED: 15:20 15 July 2020 | UPDATED: 15:45 15 July 2020
The Andrew Neil Show is one of the casualties of the BBC cuts, it has been confirmed.
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The political programme, which has been off air during the coronavirus crisis, will not return to screens.
A BBC spokeswoman 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.
The BBC, however, did confirm Politics Live would remain on air four days a week, after speculation that could be axed too, but Neil will not present the programme.
520 jobs are set to go from the corporation with the corporation’s head of news Fran Unsworth saying the BBC would concentrate on fewer stories, with journalists pooled in central teams, rather than working on specific programmes.
The BBC will also close more of its social media accounts to focus on key feeds.
Earlier this year there was an outcry after The Victoria Derbyshire Show was axed from BBC Two.
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Labour MP Wes Streeting tweeted: “The cancellation of @afneil’s show is great news for those in power wishing to avoid scrutiny and a shame for everyone else.”
Jo Stevens, Labour’s shadow culture secretary laid the blame at the government’s door.
She said: “The huge increase in job cuts is a worrying sign of the pressures the corporation is under.
“Although some of these cuts have are caused by the Covid-19 pandemic affecting production, the root cause remains the government’s decision to slash BBC funding. We’ve seen £800 million lost so far in this charter period, not to mention the Tories’ broken promise on the over-75s’ free tv licence, where the cost of £250 million was passed to the BBC.
“Ministers need to take responsibility and stop hiding behind the BBC management – they caused these cuts, they should stand up and be counted.”
Liberal Democrat Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson Daisy Cooper said: “At a time when families are facing serious financial hardship, these job losses are really worrying. They will have a knock on impact for many of the production companies and people who are already wrongly excluded from government support.
“While I welcome the decision to listen to the demands from Liberal Democrats and others to protect Politics Live and launch new investigative programs, I fear these job cuts will seriously diminish the BBC’s important global reach at this crucial juncture for our country.
“Let’s be clear: these are government enforced cuts and the inevitable consequence of the government forcing the BBC to take over licence fees for over 75s. The consequences of these Government budgets cuts for the BBC is now clear as day. Ministers must not be allowed to hide.”
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