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The BBC is better off without Humphrys and Neil

2 2 0
18.02.2019

IT has not been a good couple of weeks for those who like their BBC presenters arrogant, with a good dash of sneer.

Hot on the heels of news that John Humphrys is to step down from Radio 4’s Today programme after 32 years, we hear Andrew Neil is leaving BBC 1’s late-night political show This Week after 16 years, with the broadcaster saying it will axe it completely once the current run ends in July. Good riddance.

To say This Week is past its sell-by date is an understatement. Launched in 2002, it seemed fresh and quirky back then to have heavyweight Neil cosy up with a coterie of pals after dark to chat about political developments. Over the years, Michael Portillo and Dianne Abbot, party rivals who had known each other since school, became the Richard and Judy of the show, giggling away with cheeky chappy Neil about the issues of the day under New Labour. It was all very self-congratulatory, a bit like the times themselves.

Marianne Taylor: Onus is on men to stop abusing workplace power

Sixteen years later, it’s not only the governing party that has changed. Over the years, as the issues being became more downbeat – the 2008 financial crisis, austerity and now the Brexit crisis – the format looked ill-equipped to deal with........

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