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BBC axes This Week as presenter Andrew Neil ‘bows out’ from late-night politics show

The BBC has said it will axe late-night politics show This Week after host Andrew Neil revealed he would be leaving the programme.

The Thursday night BBC One show will end after its current run in July, the corporation has confirmed in tweets sent out late last night.

Spectator chairman Neil has hosted the light-hearted show since it first aired in 2003, with ex-Tory MP Michael Portillo and Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott on as regular guests.

BBC director of news Fran Unsworth said: “We couldn’t imagine This Week without the inimitable Andrew Neil, one of Britain’s best political interviewers.

“After 16 years, Andrew is bowing out of late-night presenting on the show, at the top of his game.”

Unsworth said Neil would continue to host Politics Live every Thursday and that the BBC looked “forward to developing future projects with him”.

BBC live political programmes editor Rob Burley tweeted: “Sad news. End of an era. This Week has been part of Thursday nights for forever and late night with Andrew, Michael and the rest will be sorely missed.”

This Week regulars former MPs Alan Johnson and Michael Portillo with host Andrew Neil and guest Stella Creasy

The cancellation of This Week comes after it was revealed that the BBC plans to cut News at Ten by 10 minutes to make way for “youth” content from BBC Three online and reduce overlap with Newsnight on BBC Two.

The BBC has not revealed what will replace This Week, which airs after Question Time at 11.35pm.

The axing of This Week follows an overhaul of live political programming at the corporation last summer. The hour-long Daily Politics show has been replaced with 45-minute political panel show Politics Live.

Sunday Politics has also been cut down and now airs as a half-hour regional programme after The Andrew Marr Show. The changes resulted in 23 roles being made redundant with £1.9m in cost savings.

BBC News must find £80m in annual savings by 2019/2020.

BBC One and Two are required by Royal Charter to broadcast at least 450 hours of current affairs programming between them in the course of a calendar year.

Pictures: BBC/iPlayer

Comments

9 thoughts on “BBC axes This Week as presenter Andrew Neil ‘bows out’ from late-night politics show”

  1. I’m not surprised if the BBC’s best talent is leaving after so many years of being insulted with the graveyard slot.
    I guess independent, strong journalism isn’t really what the BBC is about these days, boxes must be ticked.

  2. A pity. I used to watch Working Lunch, with Adrian Chiles, and liked it.
    Then we had Daily Politics and enjoyed Brillo with that awful woman who now does Politics Live. Can’t stand her, so I don’t watch it any more.
    Wonder what he’ll do next and why he’s really going.

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