The outspoken presenter said the end of The Andrew Neil Show had “nothing to do with cuts” to the corporation – despite reports on the BBC’s own news site claiming the programme was one of the casualties of its cuts. Mr Neil hit back after the BBC News site reported his show would disappear from TV screens as part of cuts made to the taxpayer-funded organisation, including the axing of 520 jobs.
The political correspondent made the claim during a Twitter exchange with journalist Lorna Cooper who was replying to another user and suggested the show had ended as part of the corporation’s savings.
Ms Cooper wrote: “Andrew Neil hasn’t been ‘axed’ – get your facts right.
“The Andrew Neil Show is going due to cuts but the BBC said it’s talking to Neil about a new interview show.”
Mr Neil replied saying: “Thank you. But if we’re dealing in facts, my show not coming back has nothing to do with cuts.
“The BBC website was wrong.”
He said the BBC News report was “wrong to lump the demise of my show under ‘cuts’”.
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The BBC has said it is now in talks with Mr Neil about a new BBC One interview series.
A BBC statement 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 former Sunday Times editor has been one of the BBC’s top political broadcasters for many years and has presented This Week and Daily Politics.
Politics Live, which is currently only airing on Wednesdays because of the pandemic, will return four days a week from Monday to Thursday.
However, Mr Neil is not expected to present the show on a regular basis.
It comes after the BBC announced a further 70 job cuts in BBC News on top of the 450 announced earlier this year, taking the total number of job losses up to 520.
The BBC announced in 2016 that it needed to save £800 million, with around £80 million of that figure coming from news.
The corporation has since announced plans to reduce its “pool of presenters”, while more correspondents will increasingly be asked to work across a range of content.
Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC Two programme has been axed and it was previously announced that Newsnight, 5Live and Today would be affected as part of cost-cutting plans and an effort to reach the young.