Nish Kumar quits as host of Late Night Mash after show moves to Dave

Original series ‘The Mash Report’ was cancelled by the BBC

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 28 October 2021 16:03
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Nish Kumar mocks The Mash Report BBC cancellation in Late Night Mash opening monologue

Nish Kumar has stepped down as the host of Late Night Mash weeks after the comedy show was launched on Dave.

The comedian announced the news in a video on Twitter, saying: “Hi, Nish Kumar here. I hope you’ve enjoyed this latest series of Late Night Mash.

“Sadly, it’s going to be my last as host. I’ve loved being part of this show. But I’ve made the difficult decision to step down and spend more time with my emotional problems.”

He added: “Thank you to everyone at Dave, everyone who’s worked on the show, and especially everyone who watched it. It’s been the longest I’ve ever stayed in a job, mainly because the uniform is nicer than that of Croydon WH Smith’s.

“I can’t tell you what’s next for me, but let’s say I’m going to be spending quite a lot of time in a phonebox. That’s right, I’m the guy who puts those sexy cards up!”

Kumar continued: “In all seriousness, thank you so much for watching me and supporting the show and I guess all that’s left to say is, ’til we meet again guys!’”

Dave said in a statement to Metro.co.uk that the “future of Late Night Mash on Dave will be decided in due course”.

Kumar’s satirical news showThe Mash Report was cancelled by the BBC in March this year. It was rebooted under its new name, Late Night Mash, on Dave in September.

In May, Kumar reflected on the cancellation of The Mash Report, calling for the BBC to give a clear reason for the move.

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The show’s axing came a fortnight after the BBC’s new director-general Tim Davie made a speech about his aims to represent a wider range of viewpoints.

The BBC said in a statement at the time: “We are very proud of The Mash Report but in order to make room for new comedy shows we sometimes have to make difficult decisions and it won’t be returning. We would like to thank all those involved in four brilliant series and hope to work with Nish Kumar, Rachel Parris and the team in the future.”

In an interview with The Observer Magazine, Kumar said he believes the suggestion that his show was axed to appease Conservative critics should be challenged, arguing that the BBC must debunk the “useful myth” that it has cracked down on left-wing comedy.

“The concern for me is that it’s a useful myth for Tim Davie to have out there, because it placates the British right. It gives the sharks a bit of blood,” he said.

BBC Two’s The Mash Report had been criticised by rightwing media commentators for its takedowns of the government.

“If the BBC does not say something publicly to make it clear they were not reacting to the political content of the show, it will set a bad precedent,” Kumar added. “It may well stop people pitching new programme ideas. It is not about any reassurance they may have privately given me since.”

He continued: “There’s an important principle at stake. The story suggests a person’s political leanings can have a bearing on what they get to do on television, which is unacceptable.”

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