Victoria Derbyshire Show to be “axed” in BBC cuts

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Multi-award-winning news and current affairs series, Victoria Derbyshire Show, looks set to be axed as part of cost savings at BBC News.

This afternoon Derbyshire took to Twitter to say:

"Absolutely devastated at the plan to end our programme (which I first learned about in yesterday’s Times). I’m unbelievably proud of what our team and our show have achieved in under 5 years.. breaking tonnes of original stories (which we were asked to do); attracting a working class, young, diverse audience that BBC radio & TV news progs just don’t reach (which we were asked to do); & smashing the digital figures (which we were asked to do). 

"I’m gutted particularly for our brilliant, young, ambitious, talented team - love ‘em. And for all those people we gave a voice to. Love them too."


Embedded rich media on Twitter

Derbyshire left BBC Radio 5 Live in 2014 to present the show on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel. It’s since gone on to win a number of accolades, including a Bafta and RTS Awards.

As yet, the BBC hasn’t officially commented on the reports, however, it was the BBC’s Media Editor, Amol Rajan, who broke the story.

According to the BBC’s own website, the reason for the decision was because “savings are needed” and the costs were “deemed too high.”

Staff on the show have also taken to Twitter to confirm that the show was ending:

"Absolutely gutting decision from BBC bosses today about Victoria Derbyshire programme," wrote reporter, Jim Reed. 

"We’ve worked ridiculously hard for five years to get issues out there that rest of the BBC doesn’t cover. Had big impact, quoted everywhere, won awards, huge digital views. Such a shame."

Opening today's show, Derbyshire said:

"We are still here telling your stories and covering the issues that are important to you in your life. And do you know what? We don't give up."

Conservative MP, Damian Collins said the news was “disturbing.” He added “there needs to be a proper review of BBC finances as well as asking license fee payers what they value and want to see more of.”

Collins is currently seeking reelection as chair of the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee.

Shadow Culture Secretary, Tracy Brabin, stated that she would be investigating why it was being taken off air.

ITV’s Piers Morgan called it “a very strange decision,” while the show’s former Executive Editor, Louise Compton, who’s now Commissioning Editor of Channel 4’s Dispatches wrote on Twitter:

“An organisation that values original journalism and underserved audiences should not be doing this. It’s madness. #VictoriaLIVE consistently breaks huge stories, has won countless awards including a BAFTA and has broken new ground. Plus it has an outstanding team and presenter.”

A petition has been set up to try and get the BBC to reverse the decision - which has yet to be confirmed by the corporation.

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