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Andrew Neil pays tribute to BBC after leaving to start his own news channel

Says he leaves with a "heavy heart"

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Andrew Neil sent a heartfelt message to the BBC after quitting the corporation.

The famous political reporter and interviewer, 71, left the Beeb to start up his own news channel.

In the message, he said he was leaving with a “heavy heart”.

Andrew Neil
Andrew Neil worked for the BBC for 25 years (Credit: BBC)

Why is Andrew Neil leaving the BBC?

Andrew is to become chairman of newly created GB News.

The new channel, launching next year, is promising to represent people who feel “underserved and unheard by their media”.

His part in its creation means that his 25-year association with the BBC has come to an end.

Read more: Morning Live: Gethin Jones and Kym Marsh to host new BBC show

In that time he hosted the popular late-night political magazine show, This Week, and Politics Live.

He also became the corporation’s number-one political interviewer and often grilled MPs and Prime Ministers live on TV.

How did Andrew Neil announce the news?

Mr Neil announced the news on Twitter.

In a heartfelt tweet, he said: “With [a] heavy heart I announce I will be leaving the BBC.

“Despite sterling efforts by [the new Director General] to come up with other programming opportunities, it could not quite repair damage done when Andrew Neil Show [was] cancelled early summer and Politics Live taken off air.”

In subtweets, Mr Neil went on to say: “But I leave with no animosity or desire to settle scores.

I look back on my 25 years doing live political programmes for the BBC with affection.

“I look back on my 25 years doing live political programmes for the BBC with affection.

“And gratitude for brilliant colleagues at Millbank, who always made sure I went into the studio fully briefed and equipped for the fray.”

What did Piers Morgan say?

Mr Neil went onto wish the new DG well and paid tribute to his colleagues.

And he wasn’t the only one who paid tribute.

GMB host Piers Morgan took to Twitter to wish his friend and fellow journalist well.

Read more: Piers Morgan rages at Prince Andrew over royal travel costs

“Wow,” the Good Morning Britain presenter began, “Massive blow to the BBC but no more than they deserve after treating you so shabbily.

“Best of luck in your exciting new venture, Maestro – not that you need it.

“You’re still Britain’s best and sharpest political interviewer.”

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