Tim Davie, the BBC’s new Director-General, has formally made Andrew Neil a series of offers to return to the BBC. Neil has been absent from the BBC since March after his eponymous programme, The Andrew Neil Show, was taken off air in March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic before being formally axed in the summer.
The news comes as Mr Davie plans to tackle perceived Left-wing bias in the corporation’s comedy shows. Neil himself has previously singled out The Mash Report, BBC Two's satirical late-night show, which he described as "self satisfied, self adulatory, unchallenged Left-wing propaganda. It's hardly balance.”
Read on for Telegraph readers on Andrew Neil’s potential return to the BBC. Share your view on whether Neil should return in the comments section at the end of this article.
‘Sounds like Davie wants to restore the BBC to its respected status’
“Sounds like Davie wants to restore the BBC to its respected status. I wish him good luck but the armies of woke editors, unfunny comedians and journalists are unlikely to disappear overnight.”
‘Don’t do an interview only programme’
“This Week was the best political show on TV but it was consistently given a terrible slot due to the biased agenda of the BBC. My advice to Andrew Neil would be don’t go back unless you get a prime slot and don’t do an interview only programme. Many people find the current ‘gotcha’ style politics too aggressive and stressful and switch off half way through.
“This Week’s blend of conversation and humour was completely disarming and we found out much more as a result. For those who like to be educated this was an excellent format.”
‘Stay well clear Mr Neil’
“Stay well clear Mr Neil. The BBC is a total lost cause. Even without its atrocious woke and political bias the format itself is completely outdated and unsustainable in a world where access to entertainment, sports and news are instantly available from a myriad of channels.
“People are waking up to the fact that they don't want to pay a BBC poll tax to be lectured to by a pious, politically correct cult.”
‘There are the last throes of a dying organisation’
"Neil, turn your back on them. They are too far gone and you would be going back to an unreformable, irredeemably woke organisation. For the BBC to succeed, Davie would have to fire the lot and start again, which isn't going to happen.
“They have treated you appallingly and there are plenty of other broadcasters you could join which are on the way up, not down like the BBC. It has no future: first decriminalisation, then subscription. These are the last throes of a dying organisation whose time has come and now gone.”
‘He’ll go for a much better deal with a new channel’
“Andrew Neil would be stupid to go back to the BBC which is now tottering on its last legs. He'll go for a much better deal with a new channel if he's got any sense and we all know he has plenty of that! Love him.”
‘This smacks of tokenism’
“This just smacks of tokenism – just like the announcement that broadcasters won't be allowed to tweet their political opinions, only for the BBC to say that he didn't really mean it.
“Nothing will change until large numbers of BBC wokesters are fired and replaced by normal people and the licence fee abolished.”
‘I got increasingly irritated by him interrupting his interviewees’
“I used to enjoy Andrew Neil's interviews but I got increasingly irritated by him interrupting his interviewees, not allowing them to properly and fully answer the question Neil had put to them. If the interviewee was actually making a valid point that Neil personally disagreed with, he would be shouted down and another question put. Clever, maybe, but gross bad manners.
“However the other Andrew [Marr] is equally guilty of bad manners at the way he treats his 'guests'. If the BBC have invited someone for a live TV interview then that person should be allowed to make points and defend verbal attacks whether you happen to like them or not.”
‘The woke and left wing bias has gone too deep’
“It will take more than this to balance the BBC. The woke and left wing bias has gone too deep, it has become a cult and as such needs to be ruthlessly dismantled.”
‘I certainly look forward to Neil’s return’
“Andrew Neil puts the vast majority of the BBC's reporters and journalists to shame, not through his ruthless approach to his interviewees but through his structured approach. Unlike those of Charlie Stayt, Naga Munchetty, for example, who just drive away with one repeated question.
“His dismissal looks very similar to that of David Bellamy who was ostracised by the BBC after he said that anthropogenic global warming did not exist. I certainly look forward to Neil's return.”
‘No one comes close to his skills and analysis’
“The only political interview worth watching on any channel is Andrew Neil. No one comes close to his skill and analysis. The man is a giant.”
‘There are plenty of opportunities where he will be well received’
“They had their chance, Neil would do well to get out rather than be used through tokenism to try and convince us that the BBC has turned a corner. Why let himself be used when there are plenty of good opportunities out there where he will be well received?
“If the BBC want to convince viewers they have turned over a new leaf some wholesale sackings of some, most, of the left wing woke would be a good start. Not talk about intentions, but a plethora of leaving parties.”
‘A new centre-right channel is needed’
“Could this have everything to do with the possibility of Andrew Neil being the anchor of a new channel which has recently been given a licence by Ofcom.
“A new centre-right channel is desperately needed to counter all this woke nonsense. If Boris doesn’t get his act together soon there will also be a centre-right party with traditional Conservative policies.”
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