The backlash against “Posh” Ed Stourton’s unceremonious sacking as a Today presenter gathered pace today as a Facebook group launched to demand his reinstatement claimed 250 members.
The move follows Stourton being told by an Independent on Sunday journalist that he was being replaced on Today by Justin Webb. Stourton phoned up editor Ceri Thomas and was told it was true.
To add insult to injury, he most now soldier on until his contract ends in September.
And to add a lie to that insult, the BBC said in a statement that Stourton was leaving to pursue other projects – when he said himself that he knows nothing of any other projects.
The Keep Edward Stourton on Today group has already attracted support from several members of the Sourton clan as well as broadcaster and journalist Francis Wheen.
It states: “We’re sure Justin Webb is a nice guy and a good journalist but BBC managers should reinstate Ed and tell Justin his time will come – just not yet.
“Ed’s interviewing style brings much needed balance to the programme – it won’t be the same without him.”
Max Hastings today added his voice to those backing Stourton – and to those who subscribe to the conspiracy theory that public-school educated Sourton was sacked for being too posh.
Writing in the Daily Mail he says that Stourton “simply does not fit in a broadcasting universe of which the proudest achievement is Strictly Come Dancing”.
“This is a huge virtue, sorely lacking not in Justin Webb – the excellent reporter who is to replace Stourton at Today – but among the great army of wannabes who now feature in much of our current affairs programming.”