Jon Sopel apologises to Nigel Farage and throws some shade on the BBC…
Always believed when I get things wrong, I own up to it. I got it wrong. Sorry. That will teach me to trust reporting of my old employer 😉 If your political views were even part of the reason why account was suspended fromthat is totally reprehensible.
As Gary Lineker’s off-side remark about the government’s immigration agenda brings BBC bias back into focus, the hosts of the News Agents podcast have had their say. Because who better to speak on impartiality than someone who was repeatedly found to have breached the rules.
Jon Sopel first chimed in that when he was abroad in America covering Trump “I was given huge amounts of latitude to call it as I saw it” – and BBC bosses backed him for it. No surprises there.
Lewis Goodall then shared his views, first claiming the Tories have succeeded in making sure “impartiality only goes in one direction”. He then spoke about Robbie Gibb, saying he made his life “very difficult”. Lewis complains that people would warn him that “Robbie’s watching you” because they “created this confection that somehow I was Labour supporting”. In the very next sentence, Lewis then admitted he was Labour-leaning.
Of course, Robbie would have been more than justified to keep an eye on Lewis. Whilst at Newsnight, he penned an anti-government front-page piece for the New Statesman – a flagrant breach of the BBC’s guidelines. He was considered a hostile opponent by Boris’ operation. At Sky, he was able to publish a long anti-Boris article and he used to work for the lefty think tank IPPR. Lewis was forever going over the top on Twitter and having to delete tweets when he remembered he was supposed to be impartial. Yet somehow it was the BBC that “created this confection”. Considering Lewis’ background, being indirectly told to take care with the editorial direction of his content hardly seems like the “crazy” approach to impartiality he was keen to describe.
The betting markets were thrown into chaos yesterday afternoon as Jon Sopel announced he was quitting the BBC to launch a new Global podcast with Emily Maitlis. Sopel had been in the lead ever since Vicky Young formally ruled herself out as a contender back in January – despite Guido’s top advice that a punt on Alex Forsyth would be a good move.
Forsyth has now taken a big lead in the race, with a 27% chance of nabbing the job versus Faisal Islam’s 9%. Amol Rajan and Sam Coates trail way behind on 4.4% and 1.3% respectively. Guido wonders if a surprise outsider could be on the cards? Applications closed on the 10th – can’t be long to wait now…
Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis are both leaving the BBC to start a new podcast with Global, it was announced today. They join Andrew Marr and, as Guido revealed, long-time BBC producer Rob Burley in signing up with the station. This afternoon Maitlis tweeted:
Nevertheless, it will be a wrench to leave the BBC after 20 phenomenal years. I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had there. More than anything I’m grateful to have worked with the most incredible people - many of whom are dear friends. I owe my BBC colleagues everything.— emily m (@maitlis) February 22, 2022
Sopel had previously been a frontrunner for the BBC’s new Political Editor – presumably he wasn’t offered what he was expecting…
Oops! The BBC’s Jon Sopel falls for an obvious photoshop. This is the real image: