BBC political show This Week to end as Andrew Neil steps down

BBC show This Week is to end Credit: Nick Ansell/PA

The BBC’s long-running politics show This Week is to end after presenter Andrew Neil announced he was stepping down.

The BBC One show, which airs on Thursdays after Question Time, will be taken off air this summer when its current series ends, the corporation said.

Neil has fronted the show since it began in 2003 and regular guests include former Conservative MP Michael Portillo and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

Fran Unsworth, BBC director of news, said: “We couldn’t imagine This Week without the inimitable Andrew Neil, one of Britain’s best political interviewers. After 16 years, Andrew is bowing out of late-night presenting on the show, at the top of his game.”

Neil will continue to present Politics Live on Thursdays, Unsworth added, and the BBC wants to keep the 69-year-old “at the heart” of its political coverage.

This Week is known for its informal look at politics while Ms Abbott and Mr Portillo form an unlikely on-screen double-act, despite being on opposite sides of the political divide.

The move comes amid uncertainty surrounding the BBC’s news output.

Earlier this week, BBC journalists wrote to the broadcaster’s director-general to oppose the decision to shorten News At Ten after it emerged it would be cut by 10 minutes to make way for youth programming and Question Time.

Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen and other foreign correspondents have asked Lord Tony Hall to reconsider.

Last year, Sunday Politics, hosted by Sarah Smith, was axed and replaced by Politics Live, which airs Monday to Friday.