The BBC‘s replacement for the Andrew Marr Show didn’t exactly get off to a flying start. Because the biggest issue with the Andrew Marr Show‘s successor was not the guests or technical problems. It was that it was the Andrew Marr Show – just without Marr himself.
Goodbye Marr, hello Sunday Morning
Sunday Morning has replaced the Andrew Marr Show. The latter’s host said he was leaving the BBC last year. According to the Guardian, Marr will be focusing on “writing and presenting political and cultural shows” for the likes of LBC. He also said he was “keen to get my own voice back”. Although biting his tongue over his political and social views never seemed a problem for Marr on his show.
From making light of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic to allowing Tory ministers to lie, via repeating government lies and playing-down of the pandemic, Marr was always protecting the establishment. Not that him doing this was new. Because who can forget the infamous clip of him lavishing praise on Blair after the second invasion of Iraq?
But now, Marr has gone – with Sophie Raworth replacing him.
Spot the difference
The BBC has kept exactly the same format: same graphics, same music, same length. Sunday Morning‘s structure is the same as the Andrew Marr Show: monologue, paper review, opposition politician, current affairs segment, arts segment – then finishing with a government politician.
The first thing some people on Twitter noticed was that Sunday Morning had some technical issues:
Sound and camera work have been dreadful on #SundayMorning. All sorts of banging going on in the background. They still building the set?
— Nodge71🌈💛💚 (@nodge71) January 9, 2022
— Ryan Boothroyd (@ryanpboothroyd) January 9, 2022
And in true Marr style, some people thought Raworth’s grilling of politicians was “biased”.
For example, Jennifer thought Raworth wasn’t exactly fair with her interview style:
#Marr #Marr #SundayMorning
Same old !!!!
It was perfect opportunity to change format
Still boring unexciting uninspiring and biased
Sophie Raworth chip of old block Interuptor of Rachel Reeves allows waffle from Nadhim Zahawi
Not worth getting up for !!!
— Jennifer Robinson (@welshroots) January 9, 2022
And Nicholas was unimpressed with Raworth’s opening monologue (a bit like Marr’s previous downplaying of the pandemic):
#SundayMorning ie #Marr without Marr, starts with the premise 'We have to learn to live with Covid', no debate, just a statement like it's fact. It will explore the Plan C of cutting self isolation times, of being endemic, when it's not, variations still exist. A vile start.
— Nicholas Ripley (@riprap007) January 9, 2022
And in terms of guests, it was also ‘more of the same’. Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves implied she wasn’t against the forthcoming National Insurance increase – just that her party wouldn’t raise it in April. This comes after uproar over shadow health secretary Wes Streeting’s comments about using private companies to clear NHS waiting lists.
But overall, the problem with Sunday Morning was the same as with most BBC political and current affairs output.
Part of the establishment ecosystem
As I previously wrote for The Canary:
[BBC] journalists are from the Marr school of bias: entrenched so deeply into the system they barely even realise the narrow, establishment-defined parameters within which they operate.
The BBC always has been, and always will be… part of the establishment “ecosystem” in the UK, and globally. This makes it the most noxious of media outlets.
Given Sunday Morning is little more than a barely rebranded Marr, it appears that it’s still this business as usual at the BBC.
Featured image via BBC iPlayer – screengrab
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