Lewis Goodall leaves BBC’s Newsnight to join Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel

·5-min read
Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis after being joined at Global by Lewis Goodall, who is leaving BBC’s Newsnight (Global/PA) (PA Media)
Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis after being joined at Global by Lewis Goodall, who is leaving BBC’s Newsnight (Global/PA) (PA Media)

Lewis Goodall has announced he is leaving BBC Newsnight to co-host Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel’s news podcast at media group Global and become the network’s new analysis and investigations editor.

The 32-year-old, who joined Newsnight as policy editor in January 2020, said it has been a “privilege” to work on the programme but it is “so important to keep yourself challenged”.

The BBC reporter said he will be leaving the current affairs show for his new role in September.

In a tweet, Goodall said: “My brief will be to supercharge the organisation’s video output.

“What does that look like? Much more to come but we have big plans. I’ll be reporting on and breaking stories in the UK and beyond.

“Global has reinvented radio – its ambitions for podcasting and quality video journalism (+ how all three work together) are just as big.

“This of course sadly means I’ll be leaving wonderful Newsnight. This programme is in my bloodstream. I’m so passionate about it. It is utterly indispensable. I love the team.

“It’s been a privilege to work there under two great editors and it runs through me like a stick of rock. I was a young producer there.

“I came back as policy editor and I couldn’t have been happier. To the sad, politics-obsessed Brummie teenager inside me who used to watch the show in his bedroom as a kid night after night, to hear ‘and here’s our policy editor, Lewis Goodall’… is thrilling to me – every single time.

“But it’s so important to keep yourself challenged and that’s what I’m doing here. The chance to create entirely new things was tantalising – especially with such a fantastic team.”

Goodall added that his new role is “going to be an adventure”.

It comes after Maitlis and Sopel announced in February that they would be leaving the BBC for their new venture at Global.

They will front a new podcast for Global Player, host a radio show together on LBC, and provide commentary and analysis for the station’s website.

Tom Cheal, managing editor of LBC, said: “I’m delighted that Lewis will be joining Emily and Jon for our new Global podcast.

“Lewis combines expansive knowledge of the inner workings of Westminster with brilliant storytelling, and impactful, agenda-setting reporting which will be a core focus as we continue to enhance our video output.”

Maitlis joined the BBC in 2001 and has presented Newsnight since 2006, winning a Royal Television Society award for her interview with the Duke of York in 2019, while Sopel joined the broadcaster in 1983 and was formerly its North America editor.

The deal will also see Dino Sofos, founder of audio production company Persephonica, join Global as its new podcast’s executive producer.

Sofos is the former head of BBC News Podcasts and created the Brexitcast, Newscast and Americast formats.

He tweeted that he is “absolutely delighted” Goodall is joining the presenting line-up, while Maitlis added that she is “utterly delighted” to have him on their team.

Sopel said: “You’re going to be a huge asset, and it’s going to be one helluva ride.”

Goodall’s announcement comes amid a string of high-profile departures from the BBC, including veteran journalist Andrew Marr, who said he was moving to Global after 21 years with the corporation last November.

Marr joined the broadcaster as political editor in May 2000 and later spent 16 years at the helm of his own Sunday morning show.

Similarly, BBC Breakfast star Dan Walker has joined 5 News at Channel 5, replacing Sian Williams.

In February 2020, former deputy political editor John Pienaar announced he was leaving the BBC to join Times Radio after nearly three decades.

Later that year, the Andrew Neil Show was a casualty of BBC cuts, following the broadcaster’s announcement in 2016 that it needed to save £800 million, with around £80 million of that figure coming from news.

Neil later announced that he was to be the face and chairman of GB News, signalling the end of his relationship with the BBC, where he has been one of the most respected political interviewers.

The former Sunday Times editor has since stepped down from GB News, joining Channel 4 for a new Sunday night political show which launched in May.