Wednesday 11 December 2019

ITN's Tom Bradby 'not a friend of William, just someone he can talk to'

Tom Bradby arriving at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Tom Bradby arriving at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

News At Ten host Tom Bradby has said he was "surprised" at how the BBC and his BBC counterpart, Huw Edwards, reacted to his ITN appointment.

Bradby, who now anchors ITV's relaunched News At Ten, spoke about how he thought the BBC, as the "bigger dog", would have welcomed a little competition.

He and Edwards exchanged words on social media last year after Edwards, who anchors the BBC's news show during the same 10pm slot, posted saying it was "business as usual" after Bradby's show only attracted two million viewers against four million.

"Would it be helpful if the BBC moved from 10pm? Of course it would," he told the March issue of men's magazine GQ, "But it's for the politicians to decide. In my 10 years in politics all parties moaned at me about BBC dominance. And I heard more of those complaints from Ed Miliband than Number 10."

The ITV presenter also spoke about his friendship with the Duke of Cambridge, which saw him secure the first interview with William and Kate Middleton following the announcement of their engagement.

He says while it did occur to him that " building a relationship with Prince William might be useful to the rest of my journalistic life", he said he has always gravitated toward people he likes and who "have humanity".

"My mother hated that calculation and she particularly hated people who kissed arse, especially the arses of those who were powerful," he said. "I suppose that stuck with me. William has his proper friends and I am not one of them. I'm a friendly face in the media and someone he can talk to if he wants to."

He also criticised the BBC's coverage of the raid of singer Cliff Richard's home, which saw them sending a helicopter and broadcasting it live.

He said: "It was a ridiculous overreaction. This was a criminal investigation - you don't know where it's going to go. Instinct tells you to treat this in a measured fashion, to not go over the top."

:: The March issue of GQ goes on sale this Thursday

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