Andrew Marr announces he is leaving the BBC after 21 years: ‘I am keen to get my own voice back’

Veteran presenter says he plans on presenting ‘political and cultural shows’, and writing for newspapers

Louis Chilton,Roisin O'Connor
Friday 19 November 2021 17:26
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Andrew Marr has announced he is stepping down as a presenter on the BBC after 21 years, saying he is keen to do journalism with “no filter”.

In a statement shared to social media, Marr – who has hosted his own Sunday morning politics show on BBC One for the past 16 years – said: “I have decided to move on from the BBC. l leave behind many happy memories and wonderful colleagues.

“But from the New Year I am moving to Global to write and present political and cultural shows, and to write for newspapers.”

Global Media and Entertainment is a British company that owns radio stations such as Capital, Heart, Classic FM, Smooth and LBC.

In a follow-up tweet, Marr, 62, added: “I think British politics and public life are going to go through an even more turbulent decade, and as I’ve said, I am keen to get my own voice back.”

He continued: “I have been doing The Andrew Marr Show every Sunday morning for 16 years now and that is probably more than enough time for anybody!”

The Glasgow-born Marr moved to London in 1984, where he worked as a parliamentary correspondent for The Scotsman before becoming a political correspondent.

He joined The Independent in 1986 as a member of the new newspaper’s launch staff before leaving for The Economist, where he ultimately became its political editor.

He then returned to edit The Independent between 1996 and 1998, before joining the BBC in 2000, where he served as the political editor for BBC News.

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He began hosting the show that would become known as The Andrew Marr Show (formerly Sunday AM) in September 2005. He regularly interviewed prime ministers and international leaders on the opinion-shaping show.

Marr was taken to hospital in January 2013 after suffering a stroke at home but returned to host his show later that year.

In 2018, he said it was “good to be back” after undergoing an operation to have a cancerous tumour removed from his kidney.

In June this year, he revealed he had suffered a “nasty” bout of Covid-19, despite having already received both vaccine doses.

He told viewers on his flagship show that he believed he got the disease while covering the G7 summit in Cornwall earlier that month. When interviewing London mayor Sadiq Khan, he said: “I think I got mine at the G7 in Cornwall.”

He added: “I had a bit of Covid last week despite being double-jabbed, and very nasty it was too.”

BBC director-general Tim Davie said Marr had been a “brilliant journalist and presenter” during his time at the BBC.

“He leaves an unmatched legacy of outstanding political interviews and landmark programmes. We wish him well for the next chapter,” he said.

Marr’s BBC colleagues including Newsnight policy editor Lewis Goodall were among those congratulating him on his career to date.

“What a huge loss to the BBC, Andrew, but what an incredible contribution over so long. Best of luck with the new gig,” Goodall wrote.

Marr in full flight on his Sunday morning show in 2019

On LBC, Marr will host a new, opinion-led programme where, according to the station, “he will give his view on the biggest issues of the moment, along with agenda-setting guests”.

Marr said: “Coming to Global gives me a new freedom – to do fast-paced, very regular political journalism on LBC with no filter, in entirely my own voice.

“On Classic FM, I’ll be exploring my love of classical music, and culture generally, with some surprising guests. I feel I’m joining a young, hungrily ambitious and exciting company and I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Ashley Tabor-King, founder and executive president of Global, said: “Andrew is one of the finest and most respected broadcasters and journalists of our time and we are honoured to welcome him to the Global family, especially at a moment when we are celebrating record audience figures.

“LBC now takes its next step. Andrew Marr will be an unmissable moment in the schedule and we are excited that he will be part of LBC and Classic FM’s incredible presenter line-up.”

The BBC is yet to announce who will replace Marr in his presenting role.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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