Andrew Neil to host new BBC political programme

Andrew Neil is to front a new political programme on BBC Two after stepping down from hosting his long-running politics show This Week earlier this year.

The Andrew Neil Show will run through the autumn as the UK approaches October 31 – the scheduled departure date from the European Union – rounding up the political events of the week.

Launching on BBC Two on September 4, the 30-minute programme is set to air at 7pm every Wednesday and will feature interviews with key political players, the broadcaster said.

This Week was taken off air in July after the 70-year-old decided to step down from late-night broadcasting.

A show he had hosted since it began in 2003, it was known for its informal look at politics and regular guests including former Conservative MP Michael Portillo and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

The political analyst and interviewer is a fixture of BBC’s political programming and grilled both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt during the leadership contest.

“The autumn of 2019 is destined to be one of the most intriguing and significant in British politics for at least a generation,” Neil said.

“I’m delighted to be fronting a weekly show in prime time on BBC Two that will be on top of the story, whatever direction it takes.”

Neil interviewed both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt during the leadership debate (Jeff Overs/BBC)
Neil interviewed both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt during the leadership contest (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)

Fran Unsworth, director of BBC News, said: “Andrew’s one of the best political journalists in the UK, and we’re thrilled he’ll be on our screens for a prime-time BBC Two series.

“Andrew’s special programme with the Conservative leadership candidates was hailed as a masterclass of political interviewing.

“As Britain moves towards the Brexit deadline, this show will be a must-watch for anyone who wants to understand what’s going on.”

Neil will continue to present Politics Live on BBC Two every Thursday lunchtime, the broadcaster said.

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