Andrew Neil steps down from Sunday Politics
After more than five years, Neil is taking a step back from the weekend politics programme.
Andrew Neil is stepping down as the presenter of the BBC’s Sunday Politics, and will be replaced by Sarah Smith.
Smith, BBC Scotland’s first editor, will host the programme when it returns on Sunday September 17 at 11am, following its summer break.
Neil said: “I loved presenting Sunday Politics, it was a privilege and honour to hold the political discourse up to the light for all those years and while I will miss it greatly I am delighted to continue to work for the BBC on This Week, Daily Politics and other projects.
“I wish Sarah the best of luck with this challenging and wonderful production.”
Neil has been the BBC One programme’s main presenter since its launch in January 2012.
Smith said: “Andrew is one of the great political interviewers who leaves big shoes to fill. I am thrilled to take on this role at such an exciting time in British politics.
“I am very much looking forward to working with the Sunday Politics team. For me now, if it is a Sunday it’s the Sunday Politics.”
Neil will continue to have a major role at the BBC presenting Daily Politics and This Week.
Following the announcement, he tweeted: “Congratulations, Sarah. Great choice! You’ll find the Sunday Politics team is the best in the business.”
Congratulations, Sarah. Great choice! You'll find the Sunday Politics team is the best in the business. https://t.co/gqHf4Cn4KT— Andrew Neil (@afneil) August 23, 2017
Smith also tweeted sharing her excitement to be taking over from the “brilliant” Neil.
Smith worked as a graduate production trainee at BBC Scotland, contributing to programmes including Good Morning Scotland and Head On, before working for the BBC in Northern Ireland.
She has produced Newsnight and also hosted BBC Scotland’s current affairs TV programme Scotland 2014 ahead of the Scottish independence referendum.
Smith also worked as a Channel 4 News presenter before returning to the BBC in 2015 as the broadcaster’s first Scotland Editor.