NICK Robinson has revealed that BBC bosses hired a bodyguard to protect him as they feared their political editors’s safety was at risk during the independence referendum campaign.
He was targeted by sections of the pro-independence campaign when Yes supporters marched on the BBC’s Scottish headquarters in Glasgow and accused him of pro-Union bias. There were more than 1,000 demonstrators, many waving banners stating “Sack Nick Robinson”, following a report about Alex Salmond, whom the broadcaster accused of failing to answer a question during a press conference.
One banner carried the words: “Sack Nick ‘the liar’ Robinson. A totally corrupt journalist. These days typical of the British Biased Corporation.”
The row was widely seen as one of the uglier flashpoints of the lengthy referendum campaign, which also saw Scottish Labour’s Jim Murphy pelted with eggs by Yes supporters during a street speaking tour.
Robinson, said: “Did I fear for my safety? I genuinely can swear to you that I don’t think I at any stage felt nervy about my security.
“Someone took the precaution for a couple of days of getting me a guy, who I think normally did a job as a bouncer at a nightclub, to look after me.
“I think one of my bosses thought it might be sensible to have him there.
“He ended up actually just getting the teas and carrying the tripod. He looked handy – he was a lad you wouldn’t mind having on your side.”
A row erupted when Robinson claimed Mr Salmond had refused to answer a question – despite the pair having had a lengthy and heated debate which had been broadcast live earlier in the day.
Mr Robinson later admitted he had made a “mistake” with his report but maintained he was not a liar.
The broadcaster claims he and Mr Salmond have since made amends and he has even interviewed the former SNP leader for his upcoming BBC Radio 4 show.