Many have taken the decision to drop Andrew Neil's 7pm Wednesday programme, following the previous dropping of This Week, as yet another nail in the BBC's coffin, and a lot of people assume it's because the BBC wants rid of him because he sticks out like a sore thumb there. But Rob Burley (editor of live political programmes) has kept insisting throughout that that's not the case - and, to do him justice, Rob does seem to be trying his best to keep the BBC's finest interviewer at the BBC. It would be very bad for the BBC if they 'lost' Andrew Neil, intentionally or otherwise:
Andrew Gregory: Andrew Neil, excuse me if I've missed a statement, but is your programme on BBC2 on Wednesdays coming back? My 92 year old father and I looked forward to your probing, insightful interviewing, a shining beacon in the confused, chaotic and downright biased reporting of elsewhere.Andrew Neil: No. It’s not coming back. The BBC said it could come back if I accepted a new, late afternoon time in the BBC2 schedule. But BBC2 bosses did not want it back at 7pm. I declined the new time so the show was cancelled. Sorry. Thanks for your interest. Best to you and father.Liz: Bad show Rob Burley. Thumbs down 👎.Rob Burley: Hi Liz - I don't think (quite understandably) you know how these decisions are come to if you want to blame me for it. As we have said, we want a new show for Andrew sorted ASAP!Andrew Neil: If there’s blame to go round, Liz, none of it should be laid at Rob’s door.
Update 2:30 pm:
Andrew Neil: BBC2 never wanted the show at 7pm in the first place. The then DG insisted. Now he’s gone it was no surprise to me BBC2 made a land grab to get it back.