‘I’m not out to seek revenge on BBC’, insists Andrew Neil

The BBC Scotland office at Pacific Quay, Glasgow. Picture: John DevlinThe BBC Scotland office at Pacific Quay, Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
The BBC Scotland office at Pacific Quay, Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin
Andrew Neil has said there were times he was unhappy at the BBC but he is not out to “seek revenge” as he leaves to help launch GB News.

The broadcaster, 71, will be the face and chairman of the 24-hour TV channel, signalling the end of his relationship with the BBC, where he has been one of the most respected political interviewers.

Plans are in place for “Britain’s news channel”, aimed at those who feel “under-served and unheard by their media”, to launch early next year.

Hide Ad

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, the Scot said he had moved on from the BBC in an amicable way.

Asked about his relationship with the broadcaster, Neil said: “You will have to ask the BBC that. I don’t really want to look back, I have enjoyed my years at the BBC.

“I have been surrounded by some of the most talented people in broadcasting.

“There have been times where I have been unhappy at how the BBC has treated me.

“They wouldn’t move This Week to a better time slot, it was getting closer and closer to midnight.

“They cancelled the Andrew Neil Show even though it was beating Channel 4 news every time it was on.”

Hide Ad

The ex-editor-in-chief of former Scotsman owner Press Holdings said the new director-general of the BBC, Tim Davie, had presented him with a number of offers but they had felt like a “step back”.

He added: “The new DG came up with some really good offers at the end but they weren’t quite good enough.

Hide Ad

“I felt it was a bit of step back, too much water had flowed under the bridge. It was time to move on and I do so in an amicable way.

“I’m not out to seek revenge. I’m not going to do a John Humphrys in which you leave the BBC with glowing reports, then 24 hours later you beat up on the BBC. That’s not my style.”

GB News will not be a rolling news channel like those offered by Sky and the BBC, but will be similar to US networks MSNBC and Fox News, Neil told show hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.

At a time when the BBC and commercial media companies are cutting jobs, GB News said it hopes to create at least 120 positions.

They include more than 100 journalists in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland with the channel, in which global media and entertainment company Discovery is the lead investor.

GB News will feature more than 6,500 hours of content a year, made exclusively for the channel, which has secured broadcasting licences from Ofcom.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.