The future of Politics Live, the daily flagship BBC Two news and current affairs programmes hosted by Jo Coburn and Andrew Neil, is hanging in the balance, according to insiders.
The show was taken off air due to the coronavirus in March and returned a month ago but only once a week on a Wednesday to cover Prime Minister’s Questions. Staff were told that it would be coming back on a daily basis but now have been given no assurances.
A source told us: “The management are not guaranteeing the programme’s future in any form. We don’t even know if we’ll be back on Wednesdays in
September. That leaves the BBC without a daily political programme. Pubs and parliament are back — surely daily political scrutiny should be too?”
Another we spoke to said: “With a looming economic crisis, the resurgence of the Labour Party, big elections in Scotland and Brexit, surely now is the time for more political coverage, not less? What’s the point of the licence fee if not to cover politics properly?”
And politicians are also angry. SNP MP John Nicolson tweeted: “If this happens, yet another quality programme fronted by a high-profile woman hits the dust.”
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Michaela Coel, writer and star of I May Destroy You, says she pitched the show to Netflix and asked for 5 per cent of her rights. An executive bargained her down to 0.5 per cent and then, Coel told Vulture, added: “Michaela? I just want you to know I’m really proud of you. You’re doing the right thing.” So Coel dumped Netflix and went for the BBC. The rest is history.
Rishi Sunak’s star has risen suddenly, but he’s been well-connected for years. He was best man at the “politician-studded wedding” of prominent journalists James Forsyth and Allegra Stratton in 2011, Tatler says. Mover and shaker.
Michael Fabricant stretches his claws after former Tory colleague Anna Soubry said she enjoyed listening to former No 10 communications chief Craig Oliver on the radio. Fabricant asked of Soubry, “Who’s this?” Miaow!
I’ve haddock enough of all this, says Jess
Singer Jess Glynne snapped a photo of herself after she claimed she and a friend were turned away from the pricey restaurant Sexy Fish following “a decision based on our appearance”. Sexy Fish request on their website that “guests do not wear sportswear” among other restricted items. Meanwhile Grayson Perry went to the hairdressers with a “#casuallook”. And model Leomie Anderson branded herself “Bob the Builder with bangs”. Bob, but chic.