Miles Jupp quits Radio 4's The News Quiz

Miles Jupp said 'the time is right' for him to step down from The News Quiz - Jeff Gilbert 
Miles Jupp said 'the time is right' for him to step down from The News Quiz - Jeff Gilbert

Miles Jupp is to leave The News Quiz after four years at the helm, which is a long time in showbusiness but not as a host of Radio 4’s much-loved panel show.

Most previous incumbents have held the post for more than a decade. Jupp took over in 2015 from Sandi Toksvig, who had been in the chair for 11 years.

Announcing his departure after 12 series, Jupp said he wanted to concentrate on other projects. “I have really enjoyed hosting The News Quiz and I count myself as extremely lucky to have had this opportunity. Although one or two of the news stories we’ve been discussing on the show remain unresolved, the time is right for me,” he said.

“I would now really like to focus more on acting and writing, and stepping down from this job will give me the flexibility to do this while also spending more time at home with my enormous family.

“I’m very grateful to the production staff, panellists, writers, technicians and newsreaders who all make the show what it is, and also to the listeners who are enthusiastic, loyal and - based on those who I bump into on trains and so forth - extremely polite. Thank you all. And with that, goodnight.”

The stand-up comedian, actor, writer and father of five young children told the Telegraph last year that he appreciated the financial security of a weekly radio job. He also said he had not expected the criticism that BBC programmes attract over perceived political bias.

“I thought, ‘You’ll write jokes about the news.’ I didn’t think, ‘Oh, I’ll have to discuss dealing with the political aspects of the BBC.’ I know people love to think the BBC is full of people counting the number of jokes about Labour compared to the Tories but it’s not like that.

“I’m not involved in the reckoning side of things but to leave something in or take it out purely for the appearance of balance would appear to be to be a shame. There’s a big difference between balance and impartiality. You shouldn’t actually be looking at things from a balance point of view, you should be thinking, ‘What are the funniest thing?’”

In November, the BBC’s executive complaints unit upheld a complaint that the show was biased against the Conservative Party, after comedian Susan Calman called Theresa May a “coward” for failing to stand up for abortion rights in Northern Ireland.

Recent figures from BBC internal data showed that audience appreciation scores for Radio 4's 6.30pm slot, which includes The News Quiz and Just A Minute, had fallen from 79 in 2017 to 76 last year.

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