BBC to reset Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg after Joe Lycett analysis of Liz Truss interview
The BBC are to ‘reset’ Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg after it was ‘derailed’ by Joe Lycett trolling Liz Truss and far right commentators on the first episode of the new BBC political flagship show.
Although no formal “ban” on comedians is expected, there is an acceptance within the BBC that a repeat of Lycett’s “takeover” cannot happen on the flagship show, with potentially controversial bookings coming under closer scrutiny.
Lycett was soon trending across social media after his appearance alongside No 10 staffer Cleo Watson and Labour’s Emily Thornberry – after he appeared to mock responses from Liz Truss over the handling of the cost of living crisis.
Appearing on the show shortly after to analyse the interview from the now Prime Minister, Lycett said: “You (Kuenssberg) said earlier I’m not left or right, I know there’s been criticism in the Mail on Sunday today about lefty, liberal, wokey comedians on the BBC.
“I’m actually very right-wing and I loved it, I thought she was very clear. She gave great, clear answers.
“I think, you know, the haters will say we’ve had 12 years of the Tories and we’re sort of at the dregs of what they’ve got available and that Liz Truss is sort of like the backwash of the available MPs.
“I wouldn’t say that because I’m incredibly right-wing but some people might say that.
Lycett also hit out at Truss over her failure to have a clear plan initially telling the panel: “As Liz said there, she said it would be wrong to predict the future even though loads of people have predicted that we’re going to have real issues with paying our energy bills but I think she’s right to just then basically say ‘let’s not predict and see what happens next week.
“I think she did the right thing there.”
Comedians will now be prevented from ambushing politicians on the BBC’s flagship Sunday morning show, after Liz Truss’s team were said to be “incandescent” over Joe Lycett’s appearance.
An insider told The I: “Team Truss was incandescent afterwards. She agreed to give a significant interview after blowing out Nick Robinson
“It confirmed all their prejudices that the BBC is left-wing and just a bit silly.”
Rob Burley, who edited the Andrew Marr show on Sundays, said the BBC should not have placed a comedian on a “serious” political show.
He said: “There was lots to admire on the first show but the panel needs an urgent rethink and someone senior at the BBC should have seen Lycett’s lame hijack coming.”
“The only point of panels is to illuminate and help understand what’s happening or being said. It’s there for analysis not showing off.
“It was always going to risk trivialising the whole exercise on day one. The Exec(utive editor, Katy Searle) is paid to spot risks and intervene. Failed.”
Former BBC inquisitor Andrew Neil said Lycett’s intervention prevented discussion of a significant policy statement made by Truss.
“What she said – in marked contrast to B Johnson – is that, for her, economic growth matters more than income distribution. It’s a clear break – and by far the most important thing she said. But did the panel discuss it? Mr Lycett certainly missed it.”
The BBC defended the broadcast, saying: “There will be a wide range of guests, with a wide range of opinions, throughout this series.”
A BBC spokesperson said they did not recognise claims that there would be significant changes to the format.
Lycett, a Channel 4 regular who is promoting a forthcoming tour, revelled in his notoriety. He said he would be taking a Daily Mail front page reporting his performance “to the framers”.