At the Spectator Christmas party in December, the conservative magazine’s chair Andrew Neil was agitated. The party was being held on the day of Theresa May’s confidence vote, which meant Neil would have to leave the lavish event — “Everyone was pretty well-oiled,” one source said — to host the BBC’s primetime special coverage.According to multiple sources, Neil told attendees at the party he was fed up with the BBC for the corporation’s unwillingness to find a new time slot for This Week. Neil had been hosting the popular show for 17 years, which meant going to air from the BBC’s Millbank Studios in London every Thursday at midnight.“Andrew made it crystal clear that he didn’t want to do another year at Millbank at midnight, and thought the show deserved to be rewarded for the audience numbers, with a move to an earlier time slot,” one source said.Sources say there were conversations to move the show to after the News at Ten on Wednesday night, though there was a concern that it could “kill Newsnight”. There was also some “vague talk” about launching a new, different news and current affairs program around Neil as host.“They’re desperate to save money everywhere… Read full this story
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