Monday 20 May 2019

BBC axes Daily Politics show as part of changes to political output

The BBC is revamping its political programming.

Daily Politics presenters Jo Coburn and Andrew Neil (BBC/Jeff Overs)
Daily Politics presenters Jo Coburn and Andrew Neil (BBC/Jeff Overs)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

BBC show Daily Politics is being scrapped to make way for a new programme.

The move was announced as part of changes to the broadcaster’s political and parliamentary output.

Daily Politics, on BBC2, which first aired in 2003, will be replaced by Politics Live, which will air from Monday to Friday.

The new programme will be presented four days a week by Jo Coburn, who currently co-hosts Daily Politics with Andrew Neil.

Neil will host a special extended programme on Wednesdays, to include PMQs.

Politics Live will give viewers a smart, accessible and modern take on British politics every weekday Jo Coburn

The programme has been billed as “a fast-moving, conversational show,” featuring political interviews, discussion and video content “designed to be shared digitally”.

Neil said: “In turbulent political times, Politics Live will bring energy and intelligence to reporting politics.

“I’m excited by the programme’s ambition to engage younger and more diverse audiences — as well as our commitment to rigorous journalism and holding those in power to account.

“I’m looking forward to presenting the show on Wednesdays when PMQs will be centre-stage.”

Coburn said: “Politics Live will give viewers a smart, accessible and modern take on British politics every weekday.

“With a conversational, unstuffy approach, we will keep viewers up to speed in fast-changing times and entertain them along the way.”

Sunday Politics, hosted by Scotland editor Sarah Smith shortly after The Andrew Marr Show, will not be broadcast after July.

Sarah Smith presenting Sunday Politics (Jeff Overs/BBC)

Instead, there will be a new BBC1 half-hour stand-alone Sunday Politics programme for each of the nations and English regions.

Gavin Allen, controller of daily programmes, said: “Sarah Smith is a talented broadcaster who’s done a great job on Sunday Politics over the past year, and we’re immensely grateful to her. Audiences will continue to see Sarah in her network role as the BBC’s Scotland editor.

“But given the need for BBC News to make substantial savings while offering distinctive content, it no longer makes sense for us to run two national UK politics programmes in close succession on the same day and the same channel.”

BBC Parliament will still broadcast live and replayed coverage of Parliament and the devolved parliaments and assemblies, but, in a cost-cutting move, it will no longer make bespoke programmes and will not air in the weeks when the UK Parliament or the devolved parliaments and assemblies are not sitting.

The Andrew Marr Show and This Week on BBC1 will continue to be broadcast.

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