Clive Myrie pulled from BBC News at Ten after dig at Boris Johnson in ‘Have I Got News For You’
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BBC news broadcaster Clive Myrie was allegedly pulled from last Friday’s (June 16) News at Ten bulletin. The move comes after Myrie made jokes about Boris Johnson on the comedy show ‘Have I Got News For You’ which aired on the same evening.
The pre-recorded show features Ian Hislop, Paul Merton and guest panellists who take aim at current affairs, and aired just one hour before Myrie was expected to present the news. The 58-year old was replaced at the last minute by Jane Hill. According to The Times, the decision was reportedly made about Charlotte Moore, the corporation’s content boss, who became concerned about potential impartiality accusations.
During the episode Myrie makes several digs at the Tory party as well as the Partygate scandal and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lies surrounding it. In the show’s opening sketch, footage of Johnson running with his Jack Russell Dilyn was shown, and Myrie was heard saying: “After being found by the House of Commons committee to have lied repeatedly, Boris Johnson takes the opportunity to deny that he’s ever been jogging or has a dog.”
During his appearance, Myrie told journalist Helen Lewis, a guest panellist on the show , that there would be a discussion about Johnson’s “mad” honours list. Presenter Ian Hislop then told the audience: “You’ll remember you were here for the end of Clive Myrie’s career.” Merton added: “Or the beginning of a new rise.”
Myrie is not the first newsreader to guest on Have I Got News For You. Previous guests include Naga Munchetty, Steph McGovern, David Dimbleby and Jeremy Paxman who have all appeared on the show over the years. Charlotte Moore was reportedly worried about Myrie appearing in two successive BBC One programmes in such contrasting circumstances.
An insider told The Times: “There wasn’t a specific joke that triggered the request. It was more to do with concerns that Clive was doing two very different types of programme within an hour of each other. There was possibly a bit of over-caution, which felt a bit over the top to most people in news.”
A BBC executive told The Times: “It didn’t feel right for Clive to go almost straight to the news when he’d just been making jokes. It was a tonal thing rather than due to anyone being overly anxious.”