Victoria Derbyshire nominated for RTS Award after show is axed by BBC

Katie Rosseinsky
Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images

Victoria Derbyshire has been nominated for a Royal Television Society (RTS) Award after her programme was axed by the BBC due to cuts.

Derbyshire, whose daily current affairs show is still on the air, is up for network presenter of the year at the RTS 2020 Television Journalism Awards alongside Emily Maitlis for Newsnight, which will also be affected by announcement of the recent BBC cuts.

In a series of posts on Derbyshire’s programme’s official Twitter account, the news was celebrated with examples of her work that led to the nomination.

“Congratulations to @vicderbyshire who has been nominated for RTS News Presenter of the Year for the 5th year in a row for her work on @VictoriaLIVE! And here is why,” the first post said.

The social media account went on to highlight her encounter with anti-feminist YouTuber and Ukip member Carl Benjamin “on his comments about Jess Phillips MP”, as well as her discussion with “men who have lost loved ones to knife crime”.

A video clip of her interview with Sally Challen – the first woman to have her murder conviction quashed under coercive control laws – was shared, as well a chat with the father of a victim of the paedophile Vanessa George, a classroom debate she hosted about LGBT teaching in schools, and a discussion with young boy Lewis Fowler, who ran into a lamppost and injured his nose in a bid to meet his hero Mo Salah.

The Newsnight Twitter account also celebrated Maitlis’ nod as well as other nominations for the programme after it was revealed that there will be a reduction in the number of films produced by the flagship political programme as part of the BBC’s cost-cutting drive.

Victoria Derbyshire with the Bafta for Best News Coverage in 2017 (PA Archive/PA Images)

Newsnight has been nominated in six categories, including the presenter prize for Maitlis, the daily news programme of the year award, and scoop of the year and interview of the year for their Prince Andrew interview.

The nomination for Derbyshire came after she condemned the BBC's claim her show was being pulled because it failed to grow its live audience.

The presenter, who previously revealed that she discovered her show was being axed when it was reported in a newspaper, tweeted during a briefing to BBC staff about the cuts to a news division as part of a cost-reduction drive on Wednesday.

She wrote: “we were NEVER asked to grow the linear Tv audience. Ever. We were asked to grow our digital audience – we did – our digi figures are huge (our successful digital figures appear to be an inconvenience to those making the decisions).” [sic]

She added: “Our remit when we were set up: 1. Original journalism 2. Reaching underserved audiences 3. Growing the digital figures We achieved all 3.”

Derbyshire, 51, also posted an image of a screen from the presentation, entitled Modernising BBC News, which she said was being streamed to staff elsewhere in the BBC.

She told her followers: “Head of internal comms just said to us all, ‘enjoy and relax’.”

An online petition calling for the corporation to reverse its decision to cut the programme has received more than 55,000 signatures.

Derbyshire’s show began in 2015 and broadcasts live on BBC Two and the BBC News channel every weekday from 10am.

The programme won a Bafta in 2017 and has been nominated for several awards, including the RTS presenter prize.

With reporting by Press Association.​