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HomeArts & EntertainmentTV & ShowbizEmily Maitlis is leaving the BBC after 20 years

Emily Maitlis is leaving the BBC after 20 years

Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel are leaving the BBC to host a joint radio show and podcasts for rival LBC – a move that will see the corporation lose decades of presenting experience.

The pair, who previously hosted the Americast podcast together, also provide commentary and analysis for the LBC website.

It comes amid speculation over who will take over from BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg, who is stepping down this year, and after veteran political interviewer Andrew Marr left for a separate show on LBC and to focus on writing for newspapers.

Maitlis, 51, joined the BBC in 2001 and has presented Newsnight since 2006, winning a Royal Television Society award for her interview with Prince Andrew in 2019, while Sopel joined the broadcaster in 1983 and was formerly its North America editor.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to do something we all love, and we are so thrilled Global is giving us this opportunity to be big and ambitious with this project,” Maitlis wrote on Twitter.

“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.”

Sopel, 62, previously presented BBC News alongside Maitlis and Louise Minchin and, in 2020, started the podcast Americast alongside Maitlis and the BBC’s chief North American reporter, Anthony Zurcher.

Jon Sopel and Emily Maitlis are leaving the BBC to work for Global

(Twitter)

The series was designed to end after the 2020 election, but continued due to its popularity with listeners.

Sopel tweeted: “We’re excited to be working with them on this innovative project. Opportunities like this just don’t come along very often. But am sad to leave the BBC which has been home for so long.”

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He continued: “Of course, it will be a wrench to leave the BBC after nearly 4 decades, and have loved my time there – partic the last seven years as north america editor.

“I leave with nothing but good feelings towards the Corporation, and wish all the best to my colleagues and friends there.”

During her time on Newsnight, Maitlis was involved in a number of rows over impartiality.

In June, she was reprimanded by the broadcaster after she shared a Twitter post by Piers Morgan about the pandemic which it described as “clearly controversial”.

The post said: “If failing to quarantine properly is punishable by 10yrs in prison, what is the punishment for failing to properly protect the country from a pandemic?”

In the same year, the BBC ruled that a monologue about the row over Dominic Cummings’s trip to Durham breached impartiality rules.

Jonathan Munro, interim director of BBC News, praised the pair for their work at the broadcaster.

He said in a statement: “We’d like to thank both Emily and Jon for their many years of sterling service to the BBC and wish them the very best in their new endeavours at Global.”

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