Yesterday, political enthusiasts up and down the country bid an emotional farewell to the Daily Politics. The show has been a staple for politicians, hacks and political boffins since it launched 15 years ago, providing detailed analysis of the day’s main political developments.
This had a bit of an end of an era air about it. The political commentator and former Labour advisor Ayesha Hazarika tweeted:
‘After I stopped working for the Labour Party, I wrote a piece how my new life was basically me shouting at the @daily_poltics in my pants. And here I am watching the final show. In my pants. Farewell old friend’
A friend of mine told me his mum, an avid Daily Politics viewer, described it as her ‘porn’. I assume she just found pleasure in the in-depth analysis and occasionally mild satirical humour which the show provided, but perhaps she has a thing for bulldoggish political presenters with a Scottish growl who go by the name of Andrew Neil. Either way, the show was not without its fanbase. I’m sure many Reaction readers are amongst those now pondering what on earth they’ll do between noon and 1pm, Monday to Friday…
Well its not all doom and gloom. The new show, Politics Live, will be kicking off in the autumn. This is important. We need a national broadcaster which provides forensic analysis of the tumultuous twists and turns in British and global politics. We live in a world of ever quicker news cycles, and the new show will try to keep viewers abreast with what is happening, with content that can be easily shared digitally to reach a wider audience. This is part of the new feel to the BBC’s political coverage, which will try to engage more with younger audiences.
But I hope Politics Live will be more than just one cog in the 24-hour news wheel. The new show must also dedicate time to engaging with the trends and currents which have transformed the global political landscape, and how issues such as technology and climate change will affect the way we work and live our lives in the future. It’s a tough ask. We need good, informative public broadcasting like never before. Let’s hope the BBC is up to the task.
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