Andrew Neil to stop presenting BBC's Sunday Politics as Scotland Editor Sarah Smith takes over

Sarah Smith is set to take over from Andrew Neil as the new presenter of the Sunday Politics show when it returns after the summer break next month, the BBC has announced today.

Smith will combine working on the BBC One show along with her role as the BBC’s first Scotland Editor, based in Glasgow.

Neil has presented Sunday Politics since it launched in January 2012. He will continue to present the Daily Politics and This Week shows.

Neil said: “I loved presenting Sunday Politics, it was a privilege and honour to hold the political discourse up to the light for all those years and while I will miss it greatly I am delighted to continue to work for the BBC on This Week, Daily Politics and other projects.

“I wish Sarah the best of luck with this challenging and wonderful production.”

Smith began her career at BBC Scotland as a graduate production trainee, starting out on Good Morning Scotland and Head On. She also worked in Northern Ireland on Spotlight and Inside Ulster.

After a stint as a regular presenter on Channel 4 News, Smith returned to the BBC in 2015. She has previously produced Newsnight and presented Scotland 2014 covering the independence referendum.

Sarah Smith

Smith said: “Andrew is one of the great political interviewers who leaves big shoes to fill. I am thrilled to take on this role at such an exciting time in British politics.

“I am very much looking forward to working with the Sunday Politics team. For me now, if it is a Sunday it’s the Sunday Politics.”

Gavin Allen, BBC controller of daily live programmes said: “Andrew Neil is a gifted presenter and he put Sunday Politics firmly on the political agenda with his no-nonsense expertise and forensic interview technique.

“After decades of working weekends he has decided it is time to step back and hand over the reins. Sarah is a proven presenter and first class political journalist who will bring an exciting and fresh perspective to Sunday Politics.

“Sarah’s political expertise and pedigree will mean the show won’t miss a beat when it returns after the summer.”

Sunday Politics airs again on 17 September at 11am on BBC One.

Picture: BBC

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