Carol Vorderman on her new LBC Radio gig: ‘I’m absolutely loving the freedom’

TV and radio presenter Carol Vorderman has criticised the BBC and its social media guidelines, saying “the people at the top of the BBC – Conservatives – are trying to restrict what people do in their private lives”.

The former Countdown star, 63, left her BBC radio show last year saying she was “not prepared to lose my voice” after the corporation introduced new social media guidelines.

Vorderman claims she was “sacked” by the corporation with “no conversation to be had”.

She has been vocal in her criticism of the Government on social media and has had several arguments on X, formerly Twitter, with Tory MPs, including last year saying that the public is “ashamed” about then home secretary Suella Braverman’s remarks about homelessness.

Carol Vorderman on LBC
Carol Vorderman arriving at Global Radio in Leicester Square to take part in her new Sunday afternoon programme on LBC in January (Lucy North/PA)

Vorderman previously said management had decided she should give up her Saturday-morning show on BBC Radio Wales over a breach of the guidelines and in January this year she joined LBC Radio to host her own Sunday afternoon programme.

She told the Radio Times magazine: “The people at the top of the BBC – Conservatives – are trying to restrict what people do in their private lives. It’s an absolute nonsense.

“You have to understand Ofcom rules when you’re on air, which I was abiding by. In fact, I had a light-entertainment show. Showbiz gossip and chat, having a laugh and playing music. Nothing taxing.

“I never, ever spoke about politics. This kind of ownership of what you’re allowed to be outside of that is absolutely about restricting the freedom of people. There’s a lot that doesn’t make the papers.

“It’s not just me, and it’s ironic, isn’t it, that I’m the only one that’s been sacked?”

The BBC said in a statement at the time: “Carol has been a presenter on BBC Radio Wales since 2018. We’d like to thank her for her work and contribution to the station over the past five years.”

Under the BBC’s revised guidance on the personal use of social media for everyone working at the corporation, presenters on flagship programmes including Match Of The Day (MOTD) and The Apprentice have been banned from making attacks on political parties.

The corporation said the guidance does not include contributors, pundits, judges or guest hosts, but it has put through additional guidance for freelancers along with those not working in news, current affairs or factual journalism production.

The cover of the Radio Times magazine (PA)
The cover of the Radio Times magazine (PA)

The broadcaster said these type of employees “must not bring the BBC into disrepute”, are required to be respectful in public and take care when engaging with public debate.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC published its new social media guidance last September which strike a balance between the BBC’s commitment to impartiality and freedom of expression.

“The guidance sets out clear expectations for freelancers, which includes a particular responsibility to uphold civility in public discourse.”

The new guidelines followed a row over MOTD presenter Gary Lineker comparing the language used by the Conservative government to promote its asylum plans to 1930s Germany on X, which led to him briefly not presenting the show, a boycott by sports staff and a social media review.

Speaking about LBC Radio, Vorderman told Radio Times: “I’m absolutely loving the freedom.

“It’s wonderful. I used to listen to LBC, and James O’Brien in particular.

“Now (while free to express political opinions) we abide by Ofcom regulations and broadcasting rules, which apply to my show and the whole station, to say both sides of an argument. Which we do.

“I’m just one side of it.”

Vorderman is due to publish her book Out Of Order: What’s Gone Wrong With Britain And One Woman’s Mission To Fix It in September and it will be supported by her Carol Vorderman Live! Out Of Order tour across 11 dates in the UK.

The full interview is in this week’s Radio Times magazine.