After 25 years of BBC service, the former presenter of Politics Live has announced that, “with a heavy heart”, he is leaving the BBC.
At 71 years old, Andrew Neil is to become the chairman of a new TV channel, GB News, which will launch next year.
Before Neil leaves, however, he will lead the BBC’s election coverage of the US Presidential election in November.
Earlier this year, it was announced that The Andrew Neil Show was being cut by the BBC. The discussions around changing the presentation of the show never came to fruition, with Neil saying “there could have been a different outcome”. This was one of the reasons Neil cited for his decision in his Twitter announcement on Friday afternoon.
They were/are the best of the best. If they can make me look good, they can make anybody look good. There could have been a different outcome but for reasons too dull to adumbrate, we’ll leave it there. I wish the BBC and the new DG well. The BBC will always be special to me.
— Andrew Neil (@afneil) September 25, 2020
The BBC issued a statement shortly afterwards, saying: “For years, he was at the heart of the irreverent and much-loved This Week and played a key role in the Daily and Sunday Politics, Politics Live and the BBC’s General Election coverage.
“We are sorry the US election coverage will be his last BBC presentation for the foreseeable future, but he will always be welcome at the BBC.”
The new TV channel, GB News, will be a direct competitor with the BBC and ITV. His show is self-described as “new nightly prime-time show” and is due to start in the new year.