Sunday 16 January 2022


There's a new nightly programme on the BBC News Channel called Context, presented by Christian Fraser.

The Daily Express isn't giving it a warm welcome though: 

Christian Fraser says:  “[Context will bring] a wide range of opinion and analysis to the hottest topics from around the world. The show will provide lively debate as we welcome a different panel of experts every day, ensuring we leave no stone unturned.”

The Express also quotes Ben Harris-Quinney, chairman of the Bow Group, making a number of points: 

  • I made the point just the other day that for years we we’ve been told that the BBC makes every effort to provide balance, but what the BBC do on programmes like Question Time is have a Conservative MP, a Labour MP, and a Liberal Democrat MP on and argue that represents balance. 
  • The reality is they are all of the liberal metropolitan world view, with minor differences on the nuances of policy.
  • This couldn't have been better underlined by the BBC's subsequent announcement of a fresh new political show [Context].
  • [The guest announced so far are] the perfect embodiment of the tired liberal metropolitan establishment that underpins every aspect of what the BBC does.
If you're wondering, here's a list of who's been the main guests so far:


  • Sonia Khan, former special adviser to Conservative MP Sajid Javid when he was the Chancellor, now the Health Secretary,
  • Amanda Renteria, top aide to Hillary Clinton in her 2016 presidential campaign. 


  • Ruth Smeeth, a Labour MP until the last election
  • Ron Christie, former advisor to George W Bush 


  • Sarah Vine, Daily Mail columnist
  • Pippa Crerar, political editor of the Daily Mirror


  • Jess Barnard, chair of Young Labour
  • Bryan Lanza, former member of Donald Trump's presidential transition team 

I can see what Ben Harris-Quinney means. It's quite a 'BBC' selection.

The bit I particularly agree with though is Ben's final thought on the matter. This is very well said and provides the real context for Context:
  • What channels like talkRADIO and GB News have exposed is that there is an entire parallel universe of commentators, organisations and individuals.
  • The BBC have an infinitely greater budget than both of those channels combined to source a greater variety of guests, yet they use the same people with the same views over and over again.
That is so true. 

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