Although BBC management, with Director-General Lord Hall-Hall in the vanguard, has steadfastly defended star presenter Andrew Neil after he denounced the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr as a “crazy cat woman”, it seems that all the adverse comment has finally begun to have an effect. Brillo’s presenting duties are once more being reduced - before too long, he’ll be out the door for good.
As ITV News has reported, “The BBC’s long-running politics show This Week is to end after presenter Andrew Neil announced he was stepping down … The BBC One show, which airs on Thursdays after Question Time, will be taken off air this summer when its current series ends, the corporation said … Neil has fronted the show since it began in 2003 and regular guests include former Conservative MP Michael Portillo and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott”. Maybe that should be past tense with Ms Abbott.
There was more. “Fran Unsworth, BBC director of news, 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’. Neil will continue to present Politics Live on Thursdays, Unsworth added, and the BBC wants to keep the 69-year-old ‘at the heart’ of its political coverage.”
But this is mere spin: This Week is being axed, another casualty in the list that has already taken out the nationwide part of Sunday Politics, and may soon shorten the weekday 2200 hours news programme. And while some have had their very own mardy strop against the Corporation scaling back the workload of someone who is 70 this year, others have not.
Now inexplicably deputy political editor of the Mail on Sunday, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole whined “A bloody outrage. Will only give succour to Corbynistas and sad sacks like Jukes and Carole who are modern equivalent of green ink dickheads who pester management. Since when did boss class start listening to loons before the viewers? Bring back #ThisWeek and make @afneil DG”. But he’s just a twat.
More significantly, Ms Cadwalladr has recently unearthed another photo of Brillo that shows him to have made, shall we say, not totally wise choices as to who he is seen with. “Oh @afneil, you spoil me. A new photo. With ALL the greats. Farage of course...but meet David Burnside: ex-Ulster unionist MP. And ex-PR to ex-Cambridge Analytica shareholder, Tchenguiz. Ex-publicity fluffer for Dmitryo Firtash, Ukrainian oligarch wanted by FBI.”
You can see the rest of that thread HERE. And that is in addition to the potential discomfort Brillo brings to the Beeb by his continuing association with the increasingly alt-Right Spectator magazine, haven of climate change denial, pro-Brexit propaganda, and vicious Islamophobia from regular pundits like Doug Murray The K. That Owen Jones pointed this out forcefully to him on the same This Week that is being axed is telling.
In any case, Andrew Neil should be grateful that he’s been allowed more or less free rein to reinvent himself as a broadcast journalist after falling out with Rupert Murdoch. Now he’s got more dosh than he knows what to do with, it’s time to yield to youth.
He’s at the top of his game? Good. Then he may be remembered well. Time to go.
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